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The Case for Mars

The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 14 hrs and 31 mins
2 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 39.46
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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

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Interesting, but quite dated and racist

There are some interesting ideas in the book for sure, although the author seems too optimistic on a lot of the unknowns of a trip to Mars.

I probably would have liked it much better though if he wasn't such a racist. Comparisons of populating Mars to populating North America (multiple times he strongly implies if not outright states "people" or "humans" didn't live in NA before Europeans) were completely off-base and have nothing to do with each other. I really don't understand why he didn't just compare it to Antarctica and leave it at that -- although I would think even that a stretch.

Beyond that he certainly has a tone that celebrates Western colonizers and Western culture, which it's ok to be proud of it, but to postulate it's humanity's greatest achievement as he does makes me wonder how ignorant he may also be of the details of the actual topic at hand, living on Mars.

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  • Michael D. Busch
  • 2018-04-16

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • FooBlah
  • 2019-03-12

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • phillip joe fitzsimmons
  • 2019-01-08

This is an inspiring book

Loved it. I got this book to find out what is the true big deal behind human space exploration. Though cool, I never really saw that much of a point once the USA had won the space race during the Cold War and once the engineering problems of going to the Moon were solved. What was the point of doing the same thing to another planet that is further away with no life or the possibility for settlement there?

The author convincingly answers these questions. We need to physically be on Mars to explore the origins of life in our solar system. Exploration is fiscally possible and settlement on Mars is doable. And humanity needs to explore Mars to have a new frontier that will inspire, invigorate, and give us worthy goals that will result in survival and growth for all of us.

I love it.

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  • S. Wilson
  • 2018-12-10

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.

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  • Jerry
  • 2018-10-14

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.

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  • Mark Holden
  • 2018-08-06

What can I do to make this a reality?

Start by reading this book. the later chapters have pragmatic approaches that everyone can take, from the billionaire tycoon, to the political leader, right down to the guy who has an interest, but has yet to aquire the means.

Robert Zubrin has a simple approach to getting to Mars within 10 years of any start date. He has also done a great deal of research in living on Mars for both exploration and colonization.

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  • Stephanie J. Sharp
  • 2018-06-28

Inspiring

This book really captures the imagination, and Zubrin's rigorous technical and mathematical support for the ideas he advocates for really makes it.

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  • notorious24
  • 2018-03-10

Here's your next space policy

Zubrin coherently leads us through the path that it would take to sustainably put Americans on Mars (and grow a presence beyond flags and footprints). Not 15 years and hundreds of billions of dollars from now, but much sooner. Since the updated version, there's been much movement in the space industry, but we're still lacking the governmental leadership to step up and say "yes, we're setting Mars as THE objective, now NASA, go get it done! "

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  • Julian D. Siano
  • 2018-02-16

Realistic story on the journey to Mars

What made the experience of listening to The Case for Mars the most enjoyable?

This is a really inspiring and honest look at what the future of spaceflight. What I love about this is how realistic and understandable the mission is. Be aware this book takes a critical eye to NASA and it's management.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Case for Mars?

I love the details presented on fuel production on Mars.

What does Sean Runnette bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The audio quality is perfect.

Any additional comments?

If you think you'd like this book then defiantly get it! This book was read and helped inspire Elon Musk in his SpaceX adventures. So if you read it you'd be in good company.