Welcome to Mars

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin takes us on a speculative romp to Mars colonization.  Unlike many other Mars books that focus on what we've already done, this book discusses the future of humans on Mars, and may turn out to be a really good resource for teams looking at colonization.

Title: Welcome to Mars
Authors: Buzz Aldrin and Marianne Dyson
ISBN: 978-1-4263-2206-8

The writing style is chatty, and mixes current knowledge of Mars and history of exploration with speculation of how setting up the first Martian colony will happen.  Most of the speculation is in present tense, and treats the child reader as one of those who'll colonize Mars.

The book addresses travel to Mars, why space travel is so expensive, use of the Aldrin cycler, what we'll need to take to Mars (and how it might get there), what life on Mars might be like, issues with dust and radiation, how to get power, water, and food.  The coverage isn't especially deep, but it could definitely help teams get some ideas for what challenges will face a colony on Mars, and some possible solutions.

The book also includes the history of Mars exploration and what we already know about the planet, interleaved with the "story" of our going to Mars to colonize it.  (But if you want more detailed coverage of the rover missions, see Mighty Mars Rovers or Cars on Mars.)

With a 900L Lexile score, this is a fairly easy read, and should be accessible even to younger FLL team members, while still being interesting to older teams.

Finally, this book is much better on diversity than some of the others out there.  The people depicted are men and women (and boys and girls, given some of our colonists appear to be children), and although white colonists appear to be the majority, there are at least a few colonists of color depicted.

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