The mission to Mars that thrilled the world.
It looked like something you might find under a Christmas tree, a shiny little remote control car to guide around the back yard.
It was indeed shiny and little, and it did work by remote control. Its driver, however, was 119 million miles away and its back yard was Mars.
On July 4, 1997, after a 7-month flight from Earth, a spacecraft was released from a parachute 40 feet above Mars. Cocooned in an ungainly mass of air bags, it slammed into the red Martian dust, bounced along like a giant beach ball and rolled to a stop. Nestled safely inside the spacecraft was Sojourner - the little rover that could.
This is the story of a memorable mission and its unlikely hero: from the planning, to the blastoff, to the intentional crash landing, to Sojourner's first appearance on Mars, to two months of hazardous navigation along the rocky road of Mars. And every day the same question had to be answered all over again.
Would the darn thing work?
Notable Books for Children, 1998
A Top Choice Book for 1999
Children's Choice for 1999
Children's Book Council and The International Reading Association
Best Children's Books for 1999
Science Books and Films
"The story of the remote-controlled rover and the researchers who orchestrated that mission is a scientific page turner."
"Journalist Wunsch's first children's book lifts off smoothly with an animated, accessible account of the development, testing and accomplishments of Sojourner... The book's graphics match the text in child appeal...Throughout, pictures and text work in tandem to land readers in the middle of the exhilarating action...A timeline, fact page, index and guide to related web sites round out this top flight chronicle of a landmark space mission and its leading players."
"An authoritative and exciting recounting of the Mars Pathfinder mission and the success of the Sojourner rover...The detailed explanations of the rover's construction, the launch and landing of the Pathfinder lander on Mars and the work done by Sojourner are fascinating. Stunning photographs, the majority in color, add additional details and clarify the lively text, which is easy to read but does not talk down to readers... This book provides enough information for reports and may inspire students to pursue further research. An entertaining, factual, and immensely readable volume."
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