On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet, 1958-1978

On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet



On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet, 1958-1978

Author : Edward Clinton Ezell
Year : 2009
BookType : Paperback
ISBN : 9780486467573

Language- English

On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet, 1958-1978 by Edward Clinton Ezell.

Although it was only designed for a ninety-day surface mission, the Viking 1 lander ultimately transmitted science messages to Earth for seven years. This authoritative history chronicles the remarkable achievements of the Viking program during its first three decades. Commissioned by NASA, it recounts the events surrounding the first planetary landing on Earth’s closest neighbor and the first on-site search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. It also portrays a human drama in which thousands of professionals from government, industry, and academia joined together to accomplish the seemingly impossible. This history begins with a survey of the qualities that make the surface and atmosphere of Mars prime targets for scientific investigation. A retrospective of NASA’s Mariner program follows, detailing the series of robotic interplanetary probes that led to the initiation of the Viking program in 1968. The authors trace the ensuing technological developments, including the first lander vehicles and orbiter. They also profile the cooperation of managerial, technical, and scientific teams during the mission’s data-gathering and analysis phases. The final chapters outline the scientific results of the Viking investigations, examine some of the unresolved questions, and consider possible future explorations.

About the Author

Edward Clinton Ezell, born in Indianapolis, Indiana (1939), received his A.B. from Butler University (1961); M.A. from the University of Delaware (1963), where he was a Hagley Fellow; and Ph.D. in the history of science and technology from Case Institute of Technology, Cleveland (1969). He taught at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, and Sangamon State University, Springfield, Illinois, before contracting with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to write The Partnership (Linda N. Ezell, coauthor, 1978), a history of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. In 1980, Ezell became the historian at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. Also active in the field of military technology, Ezell had recently written Handguns of the World (1981), a companion volume to the 12th edition of Small Arms of the World (in press) (Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books). He is now a curator of military history at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington. Linda Neuman Ezell, born in Fulton County, Illinois (1951), graduated from Sangamon State University in 1974. Under contract to NASA Headquarters, she has also written NASA Historical Data Book, 1958-1968, vol. 2, Programs and Major Projects (in press) and is working on another volume that will describe NASA programs during the agency’s second decade. Ms. Ezell, a part-time graduate student at George Washington University in Washington, is also an emergency medical technician and firefighter for a volunteer fire department in northern Virginia.


Additional information

Dimensions 17.78 × 3.08 × 20.54 cm


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