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Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  1,032 ratings  ·  156 reviews
"Any time an Apollo-era astronaut steps forward with ideas for our future in space, it's time to stop what whatever we're doing and pay attention. Buzz Aldrin, one of the first moonwalkers, has no shortage of these ideas. And in Mission to Mars he treats us to how, when, and why we should travel there." -Neil deGrasse Tyson Legendary "space statesman" Buzz Aldrin speaks ou ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by National Geographic (first published January 1st 2013)
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I wanted to like this more than I did. It had a lot of good information, but it was often redundant & all of it was soaked in propaganda & his ego. His ideas on where we should focus our attention in space & why are great. The delivery just sucked.

The propaganda: America is the leader, will be, should be. I don't have a problem with that in small doses, but these doses were too big. Felt like I was listening to an old Army flick.

The ego: This was very much about him & he never missed an opportun
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Buzz Aldrin is a brilliant, talented, revered figure. I was excited to get his last book as a birthday gift from my brother. With the recent successful launch of the next generation spacecraft, Orion, on 12-5-14, the timing seemed perfect for tackling this book.

I did enjoy it, but honestly, not as much as I anticipated. And probably that is my fault. This book delivers a compelling argument and thesis on the steps necessary to get mankind to Mars, exactly as it advertises it will! But for me the
Jun 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is not a book, but rather just another stop on the Buzz Aldrin self-promotion train (although a bit less embarrassing than his appearance on WWE). It's admitted explicitly that this is really just Buzz Aldrin's notes stitched together only semi-coherently by science writer Leonard David. The major result is an extremely short (210 pages of main text, triple spaced, with at least 40% of the space taken up by pictures), shallow tour of stuff that Buzz Aldrin has been thinking about or been in ...more
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it
65% Good

Mission to Mars is a book written by retired astronaut Buzz Aldren, famouse for being the second man to walk the moon. As an aspiring astronaut, I greatly admire the people who posses the skills needed for such a job, though I felt that this book was dominated by Aldren's ego- and who would not be prideful of carrying out a journey takes you 238,900 miles away from Earth into the beautiful vastness of space and to a place never explored by man before? But this book was suppose to be abo
Wesley Roth
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I was fortunate this summer to meet Buzz Aldrin in Rapid City and get my copy of "Mission to Mars" signed by the legendary Apollo 11 astronaut. I also was able to hear him speak at the South Dakota School of Mines regarding his experiences and his advocacy for Mars exploration.

"Mission to Mars" is definitely an engineer-based book, with lots of technical details and ideas, which can be hard to understand in certain chapters. But Aldrin and his co-author Leonard David, have done a good job in wr
Steve M.
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Let me preface my comments by telling you that the Apollo astronauts were my childhood heroes. Especially Neil and Buzz. That being said, I was not all that impressed by this book. Aldrin's outline for the future of the space program and mission to Mars is sensible but not exciting. Buzz has accomplished incredible things in his lifetime and I don't wish to diminish any of that. Perhaps it's not the content or ideas that bothered me but the style in which it is written. The book is highly repeti ...more
Todd Martin
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buzz Aldrin is best known for his career as a US astronaut and for being the second person to ever set foot on the moon. But that was 45 years ago. Today he remains deeply engaged in the space program and wants the US to set its sights on putting a man on Mars. Aldrin lays out his vision in Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration a book that includes very specific suggestions for technology development, budgeting, oversight, communication and public policy as well as a time table with d ...more
David R.
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Let's start by my stating that Edwin Aldrin is an incredibly bright guy. He single handedly solved glaring problems with space walking during Project Gemini and may have helped sign the deal for so-called Lunar Orbit Rendezvous that made Apollo 11 possible. That said, Aldrin also has the annoying habit of writing like the smartypants kid in our school classrooms: always characterizing his ideas as bold and brilliant while denigrating those of others. In this book (or is a collection of speeches? ...more
Brian Eshleman
This is a good informed overview of what it might take to establish habitation on Mars. Buzz Aldrin's passion comes through, but it doesn't really consistently animate his prose. ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
There’s a lot of good information if you don’t know much about recent ideas and goals for Mars. Unfortunately I have listened to way too much Neil Degrasse Tyson’s Star Talk and most of this was old news. The audiobook narrator was also super boring.
Leah Fowler
Jul 26, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was not what I expected. Only the last 25% of it was about Mars. The rest was just random space related stories. Which I don't mind. But I started reading this book to hear more about Mars. So I can't say it was bad, but it wasn't was I was looking forward to reading. ...more
Ray Palmer
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I have a fascination with Mars. From Dante’s mystical forays to Kim Stanley Robinson’s terraforming epics, from Burroughs’ pulp to Bradbury’s poetry, I can’t get enough. If the government’s going to spend money on space exploration, it should be with an eye to create a self sustaining colony on Mars. Anything short of that is a failure. I believe solely focusing on unmanned space exploration will lead to waning public interest and minimal funding. The trickle of data will slowly decrease. Scient ...more
Kate Rauner
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I wanted to read this book because I find my self becoming disenchanted with the idea of colonizing Mars. Exploring Mars sounds exciting, but I don't think I would want to move to Mars. I haven't found a reason why I would spend huge amounts of time and effort to become a subsistence farmer on the edge of starvation, suffocation, and freezing, all while living in a tiny box with practically no privacy. Would there really be any time to explore? I want someone to argue me out of my view.

Buzz Aldr
Darren R.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
He lays out a very specific plan to get to Mars and stay on Mars. His optimistic approach to large and small challenges is encouraging. Some of the ideas are repetitive but they ultimately reenforce his thesis. Good reading!
Feb 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Mission to Mars is a book about Buzz Aldrin's ideas of how a mission to Mars might be conducted. It is actually just a series of notes and random ideas he had put together by his ghostwriter. The book is very incoherent. As far as I can understand, there are three main ideas. First is that we need to get more private enterprise involved in space exploration, second that a mission to the moon should not involve American astronauts, third that the mission to Mars should involve first a landing on ...more
Oct 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Buzz Aldrin is a pretty fantastic guy. I got to hear him speak at my semi-local library when his handler wasn't cutting him off for telling inappropriate stories. I still want to know about the iguanas, lady! Who cares if there are children present?

This book outlines Buzz's vision of both privately-funded and government space exploration with the ultimate goal of getting settlers to Mars. It's written simply enough (and with lots of pictures) that a non-scientist like myself can understand it an
Fraser Kinnear
Dec 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: space
This book was published in 2013, and probably written in 2012. Despite being written by a national hero and very bright guy, it has not aged well. I wish Buzz had written this book today, because SpaceX has changed so much of the narrative about getting us to Mars, even in the past 5 years.

The Case for Mars is a far better account of what it would take to colonize Mars, because it spends far more time on the science of how we could colonize mars. Buzz doesn't even get into the orbital mechanics
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is...fine. I'd be tempted to give it two stars, but I think this book serves a purpose for people who don't know much about space policy and are interested in hearing about how we might realistically do a Mars trip. If, on the other hand, you've heard Buzz Aldrin speak--ever--you already know everything that's printed here.

I have no doubt co-author Leonard David is to thank for giving this a modicum of structure and reining in Aldrin's wild ego--though both problems remain to some ext
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
I hope we don't drift too far from his vision. In some ways we are still on track, in other ways we're falling behind. I loved hearing Buzz Aldrin speak in person and the passion he had for this project, the book expands on his presentation and inspires the next generation of explorers. The world needs big technological goals and peaceful/profitable competition to drive us towards them. ...more
Chad Gagnon
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 rounded down. I was conflicted on rating this book. This would have been a 4 star rating had I read it in 2013. Now in 2019, this book is old news, and doesn’t hold much relevance in the age of Elon Musk and SpaceX. I’d recommend more contemporary books, such as Space Barrons, or The Future of Humanity. Overall, it was still an enjoyable read.
Jay Rose
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A good read for a lay person interested in the basic science behind how we would get people to Mars. I found this to be a mostly easy read, this coming from someone who is in the humanities. Enjoyable and thought provoking this book does get my hopes up of one days seeing humans colonizing Mars.
Mark Baller
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
A cogent outline to getting to the red planet that makes sense and the issues involed political, financial, and scientific problems involved. Written by someone that knows a thing or two of the above.
This is a quick read and to the point
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
good quick read. Pretty outdated already (things have been moving fast in the space business the last few years), but definitely still applicable. Made even cooler because I met Buzz at the Space Symposium just after I finished this!
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A practical guide to future space exploration with asteroids and Mars as a destination. Mars would be a planet to colonize not just explore.
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Powerful message, but not the best development of argument and It feels quite disconnected from modern socio-economics.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I am without question smack in the middle of the "choir" this book is preaching to. But my fascination with space only goes so far against a book with three real drawbacks... although two aren't Aldrin's fault.

First, this book is dated -- it reflects on Obama-era policies, it predates SpaceX's successful landing and re-launch of first-stage rockets, it talks about plans for the fiftieth lunar landing anniversary in 2019 as an occasion for a springboard that looks, now, pretty unlikely to happen
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio book version and it was a great way to pass some long car rides. It sometimes reminded me of "The Martian" by Andy Weir which makes me love that book even more too.

There were repetitive sections and some times it felt a little bit like reading a report. There was even a summary at the end. At other times it felt like you were reading someone's mission statement. It is mentioned in a foreword by Andrew Aldrin that a lot of the book was put together from conversations with
Carl Atteniese
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Legendary Man, Solid Vision. Often lost in the fact that Buzz Aldrin was on the first team to land on the moon and the second man to step foot on the moon is the fact that he actually had a PhD - from MIT no less - before that legendary accomplishment. Here, this former fighter pilot and lifelong engineer lays out a comprehensive vision to make humanity a dual planet species forevermore. Reading it several years after publication and just weeks before the 50th anniversary of his walk on the moon ...more
Dan Dundon
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Buzz Aldrin's book "Mission to Mars" is a bit dated but it does offer the reader an opportunity to track the progress of the U.S. space program. It's obvious we haven't made the progress Aldrin expected or hoped for when he first published this work in 2015.
Nevertheless, many of his proposals are intriguing if prohibitively expensive given the current economic and social issues we are facing today. Aldrin does an excellent job of thinking through the logistics of getting to Mars and establishin
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Buzz Aldrin (born Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr., January 20, 1930) is an engineer and former American astronaut, and the second person to walk on the Moon. He was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing in history. He set foot on the Moon at 03:15:16 (UTC) on July 21, 1969, following mission commander Neil Armstrong. He is also a retired colonel in the United States Air Forc ...more

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