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96 pages, Hardcover
First published October 7, 2014
Many years ago, when the various Mars orbiters and landers were but drawings on paper, NASA made an important decision – to “follow the water.” The goal wasn’t to focus on colonizing a planet; it was intended to help in the hunt for alien life. No water, no life. It now seems a bit ironic that NASA’s insistence on investigating whether or not there is life on Mars has in fact led us to a completely different understanding: that there can be life on Mars – human life.
Recently, after one of his rockets exploded just above its launch pad, Elon Musk wryly tweeted: “Rockets are tricky.” He’s right, close to two-thirds of all the attempts to get probes to Mars have failed.
Nevertheless, the development of two different spacecraft that could get humans to Mars – SpaceX’s Dragon capsules and NASA’s Orion – has changed the basic question that’s been floating around since Das Marsprojekt was written: Can we get to Mars? The answer is yes. The new question: Can we live on Mars? The answer to that is yes, too, but as Elon Musk might say, it’s tricky.