Friday, May 15, 2015

How to Live on Mars by Robert Zubrin

 I've read a few books written by expats, telling others how to live successfully in a foreign land, so I can be pretty sure that it's true that this is the most useless book for expats I've ever seen. Not because it contains inaccurate information. No, quite the contrary. It's perfectly accurate, but it's Mars! You can try to be a stranger in a strange land if you like, but it will be a very long time before you can book passage there.

Like most attempts at humor, I think Zubrin finds it difficult to maintain the level of levity past the few chapters, and the book devolves into a much more serious discussion of how to obtain oxygen, water and other resources from the Martian environment, the most versatile type of transportation, habitat, and power supply, and other survival issues.

He draws on a wealth of knowledge which I believe he has obtained as a scientist working for NASA, and pokes a bit of sarcastic fun at bureaucracies along the way. I'll probably pick up one of his more serious works about space faring and planet settling one of these days before the Martian cruise lines start running.

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