Exploring the planets has been a goal of America's space program since the dawn of the space race. This insider's perspective examines incredible missions of robotic spacecraft to every corner of our solar system and beyond. Some were flown into glory, while others were planned and relegated to dusty filing cabinets. All were remarkable in their aspirations.
Award-winning science writer Rod Pyle profiles both the remarkable spacecraft and the amazing scientists and engineers who made them possible. From the earliest sprints past Venus and Mars to Voyager1's current explorations of the space between the stars, this exciting book sheds new light on ever-more ambitious journeys designed to increase the human reach into the solar system. Drawing on his perspective as a writer for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, ground zero for NASA's planetary exploration, the author further details plans now in development to look for signs of life on Jupiter's moon Europa, submarines that will dive into the hazy hydrocarbon lakes of Saturn's moon Titan, and intelligent spacecraft that will operate for months without human intervention on Mars and in the outer solar system well into the 2030s. Equally compelling are programs of exploration that were considered but never left the drawing board, such as automobile-sized biology laboratories designed for a Mars landing in the 1960s and plans to detonate atomic bombs on the moon.
Complemented by many rarely-seen photos and illustrations, these stories of incredible engineering achievements, daring imaginations, and technological genius will fascinate and inspire.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Rod Pyle is the author of the widely acclaimed Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen and Destination Marscalled "the best recent overview of Mars missions" by the Washington Postand also Destination Moon, Missions to the Moon, and a popular audiobook called The Space Race. He has produced numerous documentaries for the History Channel and Discovery Communications, including the widely praised Modern Marvels: Apollo 11. He has been an assistant professor at the University of La Verne and a lecturer with NASA's Johnson Space Center.
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Excerpted from "Interplanetary Robots"
Copyright © 2019 Rod Pyle.
Excerpted by permission of Prometheus Books.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Alone in the Dark 15
Chapter 2 The Center of the Universe: Part 1 19
Chapter 3 Early Plans 31
Chapter 4 Frau im Mond 39
Chapter 5 Suicide on the Moon 51
Chapter 6 Flash Forward: The Lunar Flashlight 61
Chapter 7 Mars in the Crosshairs 65
Chapter 8 Flash Forward: MarCO 79
Chapter 9 Landing on Luna Incognita 83
Chapter 10 Russian Rovers 89
Chapter 11 Flash Forward; Prospecting the Moon 93
Chapter 12 The Center of the Universe: Part 2 97
Chapter 13 Voyagers on Mars? 105
Chapter 14 … And Then Came Viking 119
Chapter 15 Flash Forward: Mars Has MOXIE! 143
Chapter 16 Barnstorming Venus: Part 1 147
Chapter 17 Barnstorming Venus: Part 2 157
Chapter 18 Flash Forward: The Tick-Tock Rover 165
Chapter 19 The Center of the Universe: Part 3 169
Chapter 20 A Grand-Ish Tour 171
Chapter 21 Pioneering Jupiter and Saturn 177
Chapter 22 JPL's Finest Hour: The Voyagers, Part 1 183
Chapter 23 Brief Encounters: The Voyagers, Part 2 199
Chapter 24 Into the Void: The Voyagers, Part 3 209
Chapter 25 Flash Forward: Going Interstellar 217
Chapter 26 Not by a Longshot 221
Chapter 27 Ruddy Chunks of a Red Planet: Mars 5M 225
Chapter 28 Flash Forward: Robotic Rendezvous at Mars 235
Chapter 29 Jupiter's Revenge 239
Chapter 30 Flash Forward: Inflatable Antennas 267
Chapter 31 The Center of the Universe: Part 4 269
Chapter 32 Saturn Ahoy 275
Chapter 33 Flash Forward: Diving on Titan 299
Chapter 34 A Return to Mars 303
Chapter 35 Flash Forward: Grabbing Those Samples 315
Chapter 36 Other Missions of Exploration and Discovery 317
Chapter 37 The Center of the Universe: Part 5 327