Andrew Kessler


Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission

Abstract: In the summer of 2008, author Andrew Kessler spent three months in mission control for NASA's Phoenix Mars mission with 130 top scientists and engineers as they explored the red planet. The Phoenix lander was the first man-made probe ever sent to the Martian arctic. It's goal was to find out how climate change can turn a warm, wet planet (read: Earth) into a cold, barren desert (read: Mars). Along the way, Phoenix discovered a giant frozen ocean trapped beneath the north pole of Mars, exotic food for aliens and liquid water. This story is a human drama about modern-day Magellans battling NASA politics, temperamental robots, and the bizarre world of daily life in mission control.

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