Fact books about Mars

This part of the mediography is dedicated to books in the field of planetary science that have Mars as their single or main topic. It furthermore lists fact books that cover the role of Mars in literature, art, mythology, etc., and technical books that consider future possibilities of Martian exploration, especially manned missions to Mars.

The books are sorted alphabetically by the (first) author's (or editor's) last name.


Barbree, Jay:
Destination Mars : in Art, Myth, and Science / Jay Barbree ; Martin Caidin ; Susan Wright. - New York ; London : Penguin Putnam Inc., 1997.
The definitive Mars picture-book, optically delightful and amusing to read. As the title suggests, it covers the role of Mars in art, myth, literature, and science, from antiquity to the present day. Due to the scope of the book, the depth of treatment for each topic is not exhaustive, but nevertheless a host of intersting facts are mentioned.

Blunck, Jürgen:
Mars and its Satellites : a Detailed Commentary on the Nomenclature / Jürgen Blunck. - 2. edition. - Smithtown ; New York : Exposition Press, 1982.
This book about the Martian nomenclature is indeed very detailed, as the title suggests, but it covers only the nomenclature, without touching the scientific backgrounds.

Blunck, Jürgen:
[Der] rote Planet im Kartenbild : 200 Jahre Marskartographie von Herschel, Beer und Mädler bis zur CD / Jürgen Blunck ; Lothar Zögner ; Heinz-Peter Jöns. - Gotha : Justus Perthes Verlag, 1993.
[In German language.]
This book on Martian cartography is actually the catalog to an exhibition of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin, Germany, which took place from Dec. 17, 1993 to Feb. 28, 1994. It gives an excellent overview over the topic of the cartography of Mars, from its very beginnings in the 17th century to modern times.

Braun, Wernher von:
[Das] Mars Projekt / Wernher von Braun. - Esslingen : Bechtle Verlag, 1952.
[In German language. Published in English as: The Mars Project / Wernher von Braun. - Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 1953.]
This incredible classic on space travel, in which Wernher von Braun discussed the possibility of a manned mission to Mars, was published just seven years after the end of World War II. His study proposes a whole flotilla of ten spaceships, manned by 70 astronauts. The ships were supposed to be assembled in earth orbit and sent on a mission to Mars lasting two years and 239 days, including 50 people of the crew staying on the Martian surface for approximately 400 days. While the focus of the book is on the mechanical problems of a voyage to Mars, especially regarding celestial mechanics, it does include some other aspects, such as the cost of the project and its logistics.

Buttlar, Johannes von:
Leben auf dem Mars : die Entdeckungen der NASA-Viking-Mission / Johannes von Buttlar. - München ; Berlin : F.A. Herbig Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1987.
[In German language.]
Very weird book. Only written for hardcore believers in intelligent life on Mars whose faith is not shattered by the latest pictures of the Global Surveyor spacecraft, which prove the "Face on Mars" to be an illusion.

Carr, Michael H.:
[The] Surface of Mars / Michael H. Carr. - New Haven ; London : Yale University Press, 1981.
The book is a bit outdated by now (after all it can only cover the state-of-the-art up to the Viking missions) but it is written very nicely and has a lot of nice pictures in a large format (although only in black and white).

Fiebag, Johannes:
Mars : Planet des Lebens / Johannes Fiebag ; Torsten Sasse. - Düsseldorf : ECON Verlag, 1996.
[In German language.]
Nice book that strongly favors the interpretation that the Martian meteorite ALH 84001 shows signs of fossil biogenic activity on Mars (which is, by the way, a very controversial topic, with most scientists being rather sceptic...). Also features some geoscientific background on Mars and speculates about the possible future of Mars exploration.

Fiebag, Johannes:
Mission Pathfinder : der rote Planet rückt näher / Johannes Fiebag. - Düsseldorf ; München : ECON Taschenbuch Verlag, 1997.
[In German language.]
Rather short book, but in a nice format. Covers the Mars Pathfinder mission, showing some beautiful pictures. Also speculates about the possible future of Mars exploration.

Heuseler, Holger:
[Die] Mars Mission : Pathfinder, Sojourner und die Eroberung des Roten Planeten / Holger Heuseler ; Ralf Jaumann ; Gerhard Neukum. - München : BLV Verlagsgesellschaft, 1998.
[In German language.]
The book covers the Mars Pathfinder mission. Since it was written rather soon after the mission, the coverage of science topics is not overwhelming, but it features incredible pictures in a wonderful format and includes a pair of red-green-glasses for stereo pictures.

Kieffer, Hugh H.:
Mars / Hugh H. Kieffer ; Bruce M. Jakosky ; Conway W. Snyder ; M.S. Matthews [Editors]. - Tucson ; London : University of Arizona Press, 1992.
This is probably the definitive book about Mars, summarizing in detail all knowledge regarding the planet prior to the Mars Pathfinder mission. The book is divided into separate articles, each covering a different aspect and written by authors who are experts in the respective field.

Miles, Frank:
Race to Mars / Frank Miles. - London : Roxby Production Ltd., 1988.
Very nice book that covers the exploration of Mars up to the planning of the Russian Phobos mission and speculates about future programs, especially manned missions. Also includes a rather solid chapter on the geoscientific background of Mars.

Puttkamer, Jesco von:
Jahrtausendprojekt Mars : Chance und Schicksal der Menschheit / Jesco von Puttkamer. - München : F.A. Herbig Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1996.
[In German language.]
Nicely written book. Covers the entire exploration of Mars, starting with the ancient observers of the sky. Includes a pretty good chapter on the geoscientific background of the planet and fascinating ideas about the future of Martian exploration.


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