Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Mighty Mars Rovers

The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity
By Elizabeth Rusch
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012. 79 pages. Non-fiction.

When I was younger, I was able to see the Mars Pathfinder at the Jet Propulsion Lab and was immediately fascinated by the idea of planetary exploration. That rover's journey to the red planet was spectacular, but short-lived. I was very excited to find this new book all about the adventures of Spirit and Opportunity, which were launched in 2003 and are still functioning Mars explorers. Mission leader Steve Squyres is clearly passionate about his career, which was inspired by watching the moon landing when he was a child. This book covers the rovers' journey from inception to construction, and from launch to discoveries. I would love to see this book win the Sibert award for its incredible photography, narratives, and information.

Curiosity, the newest rover on Mars, was launched in 2011. It has more capabilities than any previous rover, and even has its own hilarious Twitter account @ MarsCuriosity. Sample tweet: Road trip! I covered 32 meters of open Martian road yesterday (sol 38). Every long drive needs a soundtrack. Any suggestions?

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