Monday, March 18, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: Mighty Mars Rovers

The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity Elizabeth Rusch

I'm back looking at more the books on YALSA's Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults long-list.

This is another great addition to the always excellent Scientists in the Field series. Steven Squyres is a geologist who wanted to study the rocks on Mars. He came up with the idea to send a robotic geologist in his place. The Mars Rovers went up in 2003. Spirit and Opportunity were supposed to last about 3 months. They lasted for years. Opportunity is *still* going and doing science.

I really enjoyed the way the book follows the Rovers and the team on Earth. It does a great job of showing how the scientists on the ground had to often quickly build a "fake Mars" to figure out if there was a way they could get a rover out a jam-- up a hill, or out of a sand dune. It's also so well that I almost cried when Spirit went quiet. No little robot who's lasted years longer than you should, don't die!

It also does a great job of explaining why this type of exploration is important and why we're so obsessed with studying Mars.

You can follow the Mars Rovers on NASA's website.

Update: I forgot to link to today's Nonfiction Monday roundup! It's at Perogie's and Gyoza.

Book Provided by... the publisher, for award consideration.

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loreeburns said...

Did you happen to see the author's recent I.N.K. post about the enhanced version of this book? This book is perfect for the e-format because of all the available footage! Here's a link to the blog post:

Happy Nonfiction Monday!

Loree Burns

laurasalas said...

Looks cool! One of the images I use for a poem starter when I visit schools is a picture of one of the Rovers. Kids are really fascinated by these.