Early praise for MARS UP CLOSE
“This book fits right in with my sense of a mission to Mars. In all ways possible, it brings us closer to our neighbor planet.” —Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX
“‘Mars Up Close’ is a stunning masterpiece, an elegant book that not only transforms the distant Red Planet into a world of spectacular splendor — but a perplexing globe that still holds its secrets tight. Kaufman is a first-rate writer and scribes a compelling narrative about the recent findings of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover and the mission makers on the trail of truth regarding the enigmatic planet.” —Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 astronaut and author of “Mission to Mars”
“After this read — and soaking in the lavishly gorgeous presentation — you’ll get to know the fourth planet as never before … and a place that beckons for human exploration.” —Leonard David, SPACE.com’s Space Insider Columnist, co-author of “Mission to Mars”
“In this book Marc Kaufman vividly transports us to the surface of Mars through the eyes of the Curiosity spacecraft that landed on the planet in 2012 after an infamous ‘seven minutes of terror.’ Complete with the brilliant images and three-dimensional apps we have come to expect from a National Geographic publication, the book not only describes a pioneering effort in planetary exploration, including the search for life, but also foreshadows what space visionaries such as Elon Musk believe will be a future era of multi-planetary human life.” —Steven J. Dick, Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology and former NASA chief historian
WASHINGTON (June 23, 2014)—On Aug. 6, 2012, after traveling 254 days and nearly 352 million elliptical miles, NASA’s Curiosity rover touched down in Gale Crater on Mars and began its journey across the surface of the red planet. Timed to the second anniversary of Curiosity’s dramatic landing, National Geographic will publish MARS UP CLOSE: Inside the Curiosity Mission (National Geographic Books; Aug. 5, 2014; ISBN: 978-1-4262-1278-9; $40 hardcover), written by Marc Kaufman with an introduction by SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. In this comprehensive and visually stunning book, Kaufman shares the excitement, science, challenge and eye-opening wonder of the most ambitious space expedition ever undertaken.
Kaufman, a veteran science journalist, spent two years embedded with engineers and scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, observing the Curiosity mission. This intimate access has allowed Kaufman to provide an exclusive inside look at the mission thus far as well as a look ahead. In MARS UP CLOSE, he shares the perspectives of the people who are making the mission happen and brings readers alongside Curiosity as it makes its 6-mile trek to Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-high and 60-mile-wide mound at the center of Gale Crater. Mount Sharp is layered with exposed minerals and rocks that can tell the story of Mars.
Kaufman brings us into the laboratories and control rooms and shares the challenges and triumphs of operating the most sophisticated rover ever created on a planet 150 million miles from Earth — explaining the complex science of the mission in a way that’s accessible to all readers.
Accompanying Kaufman’s descriptions of the mission are astonishing images of Mars — some never seen before — as well as detailed satellite images of the planet’s surface, revealing seasonal shifts; the most advanced maps of Mars ever created, with intricate layered views of remains of ancient bodies of water; original artwork of the red planet; and maps of Curiosity’s path across its surface.
In “Mission Makers” features, readers meet the key scientists and engineers who planned and continue to execute this remarkable undertaking, including “sky crane” engineer Adam Steltzner; project systems engineer Jennifer Trosper, who set the rover in motion on the red planet and is now second in command of the mission; and project scientist John Grotzinger, a geologist guiding the rover’s path. Throughout the book, a special icon on certain images denotes the inclusion of those images in NASA’s free Spacecraft 3D app, a tool that allows users to view a three-dimensional experience of Mars on their smartphone or tablet.
On Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, the National Geographic speaker series National Geographic Live and NASA will present a “Summer in Space” event, “Mars Up Close” in National Geographic’s Washington, D.C., headquarters at 1145 17th Street, N.W. This panel discussion, at 7:30 p.m., will be introduced by Dr. Jim Green, NASA’s Planetary Science Division director and head of the Mars program, and moderated by Kaufman. The panel will comprise Dr. Ken Edgett, principal investigator, MAHLI Camera, Mars Exploration Program; Dr. John Grant, geologist and long-term planner, Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory; and Dr. Pan Conrad, deputy principal investigator, sample analysis, at Mars team, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The event will be live-streamed at NatGeoSpace.com. Tickets may be purchased online, via telephone at (202) 857-7700 or in person at the National Geographic ticket offices between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The panel discussion will be followed by a book signing of MARS UP CLOSE in the National Geographic Museum’s free “Mars Up Close” exhibition on display in the M Street lobby. The exhibition, which will feature stunning Mars imagery, content from the book, a full-scale model of the Curiosity rover as well as models of the Spirit/Opportunity rover and the 1997 Sojourner, opens to the public Aug. 5.
About Marc Kaufman
MARC KAUFMAN writes about NASA and space science for NationalGeographic.com and The Washington Post, where he was a reporter on the national staff for 10 years. A veteran journalist with 35 years of reporting on science and international affairs, Kaufman now writes and lectures on astrobiology and space exploration. Kirkus named Kaufman’s book “First Contact” one of the best nonfiction titles for 2011. Kaufman is also the author of a 2012 National Geographic e-book, “Mars Landing 2012.”
About National Geographic Books
National Geographic Books & Home Entertainment creates and distributes books, videos and other print and digital media that inform, engage and entertain diverse audiences about our world. Annually, the group publishes more than 125 new books for adults, families and kids and releases 250+ new DVDs and digital downloads of the Society’s films and TV shows, and these National Geographic titles are available in more than 35 local-language editions. While special photographic and film collections, travel books, nature shows, birding guides and atlases are a core focus of the Society’s products, books and videos on subjects as diverse as animals, the human mind, history, world cultures and the cosmos are also produced. For more information, visit facebook.com/NatGeoBooks and nationalgeographic.com/books.