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Mapping Mars: Science, Imagination, and the Birth of a World

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  62 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
How can you make sense of a world where no one has ever lived? Acclaimed science writer Oliver Morton tells the story of the heroic landscapes of Mars, now better mapped in some ways than the Earth itself. Mapping Mars introduces the reader to the nineteenth-century visionaries and spy-satellite pioneers, the petroleum geologists and science-fiction writers, the artists an ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Picador (first published 2002)
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M. Azhaari Shah
All you want to know about Mars, you can find it in this book.
Jun 28, 2008 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: real-worldy
Marvelous, from start to finish. About where we've been and where we are going, with the romance and the rigor, the achievement and the dream, and without ever betraying the enormous difficulties involved in the minds of mankind and the machines that we build.
Ken Doggett
Sep 23, 2015 Ken Doggett rated it really liked it
This book basically tells you everything you've always wanted to know about Mars exploration, mapping, and planning---and then some. As others have noted, it does ramble, and in places it can be tedious with its background history of just about every person involved in Mars exploration, and virtually every program NASA has come up with. This includes some future programs that were still in the planning stages at the time the book was written. Oddly enough, for a book about mapping Mars, it conta ...more
Duane Dunkerson
Jun 12, 2013 Duane Dunkerson rated it really liked it
Mapping Mars - Science, Imagination, and The Birth of a World by Oliver Morton

In this book the author, Oliver Morton, does not present an inch by inch accounting of the NASA missions to Mars. The foot ruler of progression could have been applied to development, launch, interplanetary journey, orbit, and landing on Mars. Mr. Morton's scale is ultra NASA to include science fiction, art, politics, and the appreciation of human places.

It is the grand age for Earth's robots. One of them, Pathfinder,
Peter Tillman
Jul 13, 2016 Peter Tillman rated it it was amazing
First of all, if you have the slightest interest in the geology of Mars, or in maps, or in planetary science (and, if not, why are you here?) you *need* to read this book.

"This is a splendid book and a major achievement in the study of Mars.... A number of authors might fairly claim to have written the best Mars novel, but this is the best factual book on Mars that money can buy."
-- New Scientist, 2003

My 2004 rave:
Aug 09, 2011 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is just fun as hell. Especially when you pair it up with the glorious NASA Atlas of the Solar System, which I just happen to have a copy of. I now crave the MOLA (Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter) globe of the red planet. This book refers often to old NASA maps that I used to see when Dad was working at TRW during the old Viking projects, and also to the Kim Stanley Robinson "Mars" cycle, which I understand will be a SciFi Channel miniseries next year. As I finished this book, two or three ...more
Edward ott
Jan 12, 2015 Edward ott rated it it was amazing
A truelly enjoyable read on the history of man's attempts to map Mars.
May 07, 2016 Jason rated it really liked it
A bit dated by now with all the new stuff we know about Mars, since this was written all those years ago. But Morton is one of the greatest science writers I have ever read, and this is poetic and real poetry is timeless.
If you have the slightest interest in the exploration of the planet Mars, you'll find this book a fascinating read.
Shane Kiley
Jun 07, 2011 Shane Kiley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Please don't waste your time with this insufferable bore. Not even academically interesting
Booknerd Fraser
Dec 19, 2012 Booknerd Fraser rated it liked it
Good, but the author jumps around a lot. And it's really not primarily concerned with mapping.
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