By Robert Zubrin
Free Press, $16.99, 384 pages

Nice to see Robert Zubrin’s The Case for Mars updated and republished. Here Zubrin outlines his mission to take us to Mars, our closest neighbor in space. The book is visionary and provides a challenge for those who would like to be along for a trip. Zubrin writes that it is the second safest place in the solar system in a book which at times reads like a mission briefing. Unfortunately, there is the sad note that his dreams may not be realized within our lifetime.

It is my firm belief that we now possess the technology that could allow a human landing on Mars within ten years of any time a decision is made to launch the program.

The big problem with the plan is the biology and sociology part. It will potentially be very dangerous to keep people in space for a few years. There is also not enough concern for back contamination which could introduce dangerous microbes to earth or forward contamination which could ruin our chances of finding extraterrestrial life which some consider the greatest potential discovery of all time. In the current climate it also does not seem wise to abandon our planet for some place else, but on the flip side our political systems may be better off with a sister society where new political reforms can be explored. All told, the reader is likely to want to become a martian.

Reviewed by Ryder Miller