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The Case for Mars  By  cover art

The Case for Mars

By: Robert Zubrin,Richard Wagner,Arthur C. Clarke - Foreword
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
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Publisher's Summary

Since the beginning of human history Mars has been an alluring dream - the stuff of legends, gods, and mystery. The planet most like ours, it has still been thought impossible to reach, let alone explore and inhabit. Now with the advent of a revolutionary new plan, all this has changed. 

Leading space exploration authority Robert Zubrin has crafted a daring new blueprint, Mars Direct, presented here with engaging anecdotes. The Case for Mars is not a vision for the far future or one that will cost us impossible billions. 

It explains step-by-step how we can use present-day technology to send humans to Mars within 10 years; actually produce fuel and oxygen on the planet's surface with Martian natural resources; how we can build bases and settlements; and how we can one day "terraform" Mars - a process that can alter the atmosphere of planets and pave the way for sustainable life.

©2011 Robert Zubrin (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about The Case for Mars

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Compelling

Eye-opening magnificently researched, argued, written and performed. Couldn’t put it down. Zubrin is a true visionary. Now I understand Elon’s and Jeff’s passion to create colonies on Mars, and now I’m a believer. Must-read for anyone interested in space and/or the future of our species.

8 people found this helpful

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Good story, but the narrating...

I liked the story (sometimes the conclusions were jumped to a bit fast and without being fully substantiated, however).

The narrator was hard to listen to, especially at first. He almost sounds like he's talking with the back of his throat. Its strange and was pretty distracting. I almost considered not listening to it anymore after about 30 minutes but hung around. He says the word 'Mars' in a bizarre way too which... well is a word used frequently throughout the book.

6 people found this helpful

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Entertaining but..... that’s all

He offers many unsubstantiated theories then later states them as fact. “We should be able to... “, for example. Based on...? Wanting to, is not being able to except in a pipe dream.
‘We can manufacture fuel from in-situ (mispronounced throughout the reading) materials on the red planet.’ Yeah, if the factories existed to accomplish that but it’s unrealistic due to weight and cost to transport those, or even the component parts (steel pipe just for one example) to construct all the plants necessary. It’s a catch-22 with no viable/realistic solution path except to start over on Mars, our evolution from the Neolithic ages, to the ceramic age to the Bronze Age to the Iron Age to eventually PAST where we are now. Really? Over centuries on the red planet?
He concludes that with a snap of our fingers we will be mining materials to build communities and produce rocket fuel. With what, garden trowels and a kid’s Erector Set we bring with us?
It’s good entertainment but that’s all.
Cost projections are off by probably a hundredfold.

3 people found this helpful

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good book .... but the narration!

Whew!
This narrator is PAINFUL to listen to, but the topic and ideas are compelling. A bit too esoteric near the end, but interesting none-the-less.

2 people found this helpful

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What he's not...

Zubrin has an intriguing idea for a sustainable infrastructure to explore Mars. That's where his expertise ends, hard. He rambles off into geology, medicine, sociology, and other areas. These parts get tiresome quickly, and are entirely his own uninformed opinions. The thing that raised my eyebrow the most was the part where he talks about "preserving human diversity". As discussed, this is thinly veiled racist propaganda, whether he understands that or not (I think not). In any event, I enjoy Zubrin the engineer, the rest of his thoughts are rambling noise.

2 people found this helpful

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The Real Science of Getting to Mars

If the book "The Martian" was of interest, then imagine how a book detailing the real science on obtaining this goal would be. For me, this was the book. Zubrin is well known in scientific circles for his engineering knowledge and mapping out the details of exploring Mars. Why did we literally end our human space exploration following the Apollo programs years ago? Is NASA a help or a hindrance in human exploration to Mars? How do we financially make this happen? How do we actually survive on the surface as we explore? What are the real dangers in obtaining this goal; not dangers invented by political opponents trying to prevent further space exploration? He lays out why humans and not just robots must go to Mars; not just to say we went, but to actually study Mars and why it is important to do so. If you have an interest in the scientific answers to these and many other questions about Mars exploration, then I highly recommend this book for you. The title, "The Case for Mars", is definitely self-explanatory about the contents of this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent! But!!!

Highly compelling! Not that I was on the boarder about space exploration but this is an excellent work on ‘why Mars’.
However, it’s also a little out dated. If you want a more recent work look at The Case For Space also by Robert Zubrin. But even that excellent book is aging fast with all the recent developments in space travel. I think this book is most relevant now as it was one of the things that convince Elon Musk to start SpaceX. Also it’s an excellent argument as to why Mars should be first on the colonization list as opposed to the moon or cislunar space.
Now for the gripes. (Sigh) I really wish engineers, rocket scientists, and astrophysicists (oh my!) would stay away from astrobiology. They are interested in it as it is relevant to the prevalence and nature of life in the universe in general and in general they tend to have a decent understanding of biology. But they don’t have a complete understanding of the more advanced and less intuitive principles such as the law of minimum complexity (which is why we don’t see pre-protozoan bacteria floating around) or the energy dynamics of organisms. And because, frankly, they see biology as a “lesser science” they think that they can make all kinds of assertions about this and that. This, in my eyes, degrades Robert Zubrin’s authority on other subjects as it makes me wonder what other important points he’s missing.

1 person found this helpful

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DatedAF

Be nice if audible notes that this was originally published in 1996. A few things have been added from as recently as 10!years ago to bring it more up to date, but even those things are completely dated now too.

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boring, excessive explaining

There's too much detail in this book. I would have preferred a big picture approach rather than a detailed breakdown of every possible aspect of going to Mars.

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Let’s go to Mars

I enjoyed how many different routes of appeal he makes at the end of the book. Multiple good appeals and agreements.