Monday, September 9, 2013

Let's Find Out About Mars (1966)

Beyond going to the Moon there have always been dreams of exploring other planets.  While Mercury and Venus were the destination of some of the first planetary probes, the real excitement has always been about Mars.  Mars was a place that it seemed likely that someone could actually visit.  Although there are less books about the exploration of Mars, it continues to be many space flight advocates' goal.  I spent the July 20th, 2013 Lunar landing anniversary listening to Buzz Aldrin discuss his plans for Mars exploration via "recyclers".

Knight, David C. Illustrated by Miller, Don. Let's Find Out About Mars. New York: Franklin Watts Inc. (55 p.) 22 cm. 1966

This book illustrated one of the many plans in the 1960s for placing people on Mars. It was stimulated by the 1965 Mariner 4 mission to Mars. If you are interested in a history of these plans I highly recommend : Humans to Mars: Fifty Years of Mission Planning 1950-2000 by David S.F. Portree. NASA SP-2001-4521.

These plans look like they reflect the existing Saturn 5 hardware and the possible planned lunar habitats.

Mariner 4 confirmed that Mars was a desolate place and exploration would consist of coping with a hostile environment.

Ultimately the goal of Mars exploration is to help humans find another home. The urge to homestead new places, and "conquer" new lands seems at the heart of many of our dreams of Mars.  The final illustration seems to reflect that no matter where humans go there will always be the nuclear family around the kitchen table.

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