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Publisher's Summary

In the course of our enduring quest for knowledge about ourselves and our universe, we haven't found answers to one of our most fundamental questions: Does life exist anywhere else in the universe? Ten years and billions of dollars in the making, the Mars rover Curiosity is poised to answer this all-important question.
Here, Rob Manning, the project's chief engineer, tells of bringing the groundbreaking spacecraft to life. Manning and his team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tasked with designing a lander many times larger and more complex than any before, faced technical setbacks, fights over inadequate resources, and the challenges of leading an army of brilliant, passionate, and often frustrated experts.
Manning's fascinating personal account - which includes information from his exclusive interviews with leading Curiosity scientists - is packed with tales of revolutionary feats of science, technology, and engineering. Listeners experience firsthand the disappointment at encountering persistent technical problems, the agony of near defeat, the sense of victory at finding innovative solutions to these problems, the sheer terror of staking careers and reputations on a lander that couldn't be tested on Earth, and the rush of triumph at its successful touchdown on Mars on August 5, 2012. This is the story of persistence, dedication, and unrelenting curiosity.
©2014 Rob Manning, William L. Simon (P)2014 Blackstone Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Lesley on 12-29-14

A fascinating insight

Would you listen to Mars Rover Curiosity again? Why?

I've been interested in space exploration since I saw the first moon landing at the age of about seven. I'm fascinated by the technical challenges, and the nuts and bolts of making a mission like this happen. I will be keeping this book and re-listening, for certain.

What three words best describe Bronson Pinchot’s performance?

Careful but dull. Everything is pronounced correctly, the pacing works well for me, and there are no major flaws that I can detect. Occasionally he places the emphasis strangely in a sentence - or at least, differently to how I would read it. But my main complaint is that for a topic that excites me, it's a very flat emotionless presentation. This is a story of how an amazing event was planned and achieved; the reading should be as interesting as the material.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely. I wanted to stay up all night listening to it.

Any additional comments?

Perhaps I am a little biased in my expectations, having heard an interview with Bob Manning before I bought the book. I would have loved to have heard it read by him.

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful

By Sean D. Mcclinton on 03-24-15

Good overview

Good chronological overview. Right amount of technical info for a "non-technical" person like myself. Wasn't quite as inspiring as other space related audibles I have listened to, but seems to be intended to be more factual.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By mr Peter Mo on 01-07-15


I really enjoyed this one. I read a lot about Curiosity and I also attended seminars with speakers that work on it. And still, I've learned so much from this book that it makes me happy that I lived to see this great achievement.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

By Amazon Customer on 02-11-18

a great insight into the curiosity rover.

Listen to on and off for a week but could have completed it quicker. I never realised how much skill and innovation went in to getting curiosity on Mars.

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Customer Reviews

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By Scott on 12-31-17

Recommended technical read

I recommend this book for systems engineer or anyone seeking a technical and political insight into the workings of a NASA mission. It is so refreshing to gain an honest "warts and all" account from the chief engineer of mars missions. Great read.

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By Peter manderson on 04-11-15

Was most enjoyable

A good listen and makes you appreciate how hard space travel is. Great value.

I recommend this audible book to everyone

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