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Kessler is the co-producer of a Discovery Channel feature on the quest for life on Mars. He was chosen to chronicle the 2008 Phoenix Lander’s ninety days around the red plant’s North Pole, with daily access to the earth-side scientist running the experiments. The mission was to search for evidence of water and organic chemistry, two pre-requisites for determining whether life exists on Mars. The Mission head Peter Smith thought a popular account of the discoveries and the scientist behind them would help inspire a new generation to enter space science.
The author provides some fascinating glimpses of the real work of a space mission. Keeler covers the problems with the robot arm and the onboard analytical equipment and how it was solved and the discovery of liquid water on the surface of Mars. Unfortunately only someone who is already a space fan would find the book interesting. The less than stellar treatment of the story leaves much to be desired if the goal was to attract young people into a space career. I did not care for the flippant style the book was written in, I felt the topic much too serious for that attitude to be acceptable. For those who are space science fans this is an interesting story. Adam Schneemann did a good job narrating the book.
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