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

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Annotation: The story of the two robot vehicles, Spirit and Opportunity, that were sent to explore Mars, lasting far past their projected lives of 3 months and sending back invaluable images of the environmentally hostile planet.
Catalog Number: #138929
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: STEAM STEAM Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2012
Pages: 79 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-544-93246-3 Perma-Bound: 0-605-97207-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-544-93246-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-97207-0
Dewey: 523.43
LCCN: 2011012159
Dimensions: 23 x 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* After briefly discussing the search for life on Mars, Rusch introduces Steven Squyres as a 13-year-old boy watching the Apollo 11 moon landing. Later, while studying geology at Cornell, he came across Viking mission photos that inspired his career as a planetary scientist and astronomy professor. This handsome volume from the Scientists in the Field series spotlights Squyres' work at NASA as "principal science investigator" for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Simultaneously, the text tells the story of landing the rovers Spirit and Opportunity on Mars and using them to gather information and images, some of which suggest the past existence of water on the planet. Wildly successful, the mission has lasted years longer than expected, and one of the rovers is still active. This well-designed volume offers insights into the scientist's work as well as a very informative account of the mission. Quotes are used very effectively, both in the text and as dramatic headlines superimposed on photos. Sidebars fill in details on topics such as the communication with the rovers and names of physical features on Mars. Well documented and fully illustrated with many colorful photos and digital images, this is a book that space technology fans won't want to miss.
Horn Book
The groundbreaking 2004 Mars Exploration Rover Mission of "little" rovers Spirit and Opportunity provided evidence for the possibility of water on Mars. Principal scientist Steve Squyres's reflections frame Rusch's account, which skillfully captures the exciting quest for knowledge. Compelling images of Mars, Squyres's team, and landscapes superimposed with photos of rovers also convey this engineering accomplishment's significance. Websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Kirkus Reviews
What's it like to explore Mars? Did life ever exist on Earth's red neighbor? To find out, readers need only soar along with this enthralling account of the adventures of two rovers designed to seek evidence on Mars of water that could have once supported life. Expected to last three months, the indefatigable Spirit and Opportunity incredibly carried out their missions for more than six years. In the process, lead scientist Steve Squyres and his team learned more about and probed more terrain on Mars than anyone before. Readers are carried aloft by Rusch's exciting, clear prose and the rovers' exceptional photos sent Earthside. Along with the team, young people celebrate every thrilling moment of success--yes, there once was water on Mars!--and accept failures and disappointments. This is edge-of-your-seat reading as the author explains how setbacks were handled. Readers are not only drawn in by the dedication, hard work and emotions of the people involved, but they will also, like the scientists themselves, feel proprietary toward the rovers--and, fortunately, there's an update about them. One quibble: the ample backmatter has little specifically for children. Another stellar outing in the consistently excellent Scientists in the Field series. How extraordinary to visit Mars in Spirit; readers will be very glad of the Opportunity. (sources, chapter notes, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 7&11;9&12; Rusch covers not only the scientific aspects of Mars exploration but also the personalities of the people who made it happen, and profiles the rovers themselves, Spirit and Opportunity. Her comprehensive research shines through in her detailed style as she zeroes in on the behind-the-scenes efforts of launching a scientific mission. Full-color photographs on every page in this picture-book-size volume illuminate the Mars surface and the faces of the scientists as they agonize over communication difficulties and computer glitches and exult over the thrill of discovery. The lists of websites, archives, multimedia, and sources may inspire readers to follow in the footsteps of Steve Squyres-mission leader. The glossary is brief but helpful in unscrambling some of the "alphabet soup" of acronyms and nicknames (e.g., ATLO-Assembly, Test and Launch Operations and Pancam-Panoramic Camera) as well as scientific terms (e.g., Sol-one Martian day, or 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds in Earth time) used throughout. Terms and photographs are indexed. This detailed look at planning, implementing, maintaining, and troubleshooting a highly complex scientific mission puts a human face on an incredible accomplishment.&12; Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
What's it like to explore Mars? Did life ever exist on Earth's red neighbor? To find out, readers need only soar along with this enthralling account of the adventures of two rovers designed to seek evidence on Mars of water that could have once supported life. Expected to last three months, the indefatigable Spirit and Opportunity incredibly carried out their missions for more than six years. In the process, lead scientist Steve Squyres and his team learned more about and probed more terrain on Mars than anyone before. Readers are carried aloft by Rusch's exciting, clear prose and the rovers' exceptional photos sent Earthside. Along with the team, young people celebrate every thrilling moment of success--yes, there once was water on Mars!--and accept failures and disappointments. This is edge-of-your-seat reading as the author explains how setbacks were handled. Readers are not only drawn in by the dedication, hard work and emotions of the people involved, but they will also, like the scientists themselves, feel proprietary toward the rovers--and, fortunately, there's an update about them. One quibble: the ample backmatter has little specifically for children. Another stellar outing in the consistently excellent Scientists in the Field series. How extraordinary to visit Mars in Spirit; readers will be very glad of the Opportunity. (sources, chapter notes, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* After briefly discussing the search for life on Mars, Rusch introduces Steven Squyres as a 13-year-old boy watching the Apollo 11 moon landing. Later, while studying geology at Cornell, he came across Viking mission photos that inspired his career as a planetary scientist and astronomy professor. This handsome volume from the Scientists in the Field series spotlights Squyres' work at NASA as "principal science investigator" for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Simultaneously, the text tells the story of landing the rovers Spirit and Opportunity on Mars and using them to gather information and images, some of which suggest the past existence of water on the planet. Wildly successful, the mission has lasted years longer than expected, and one of the rovers is still active. This well-designed volume offers insights into the scientist's work as well as a very informative account of the mission. Quotes are used very effectively, both in the text and as dramatic headlines superimposed on photos. Sidebars fill in details on topics such as the communication with the rovers and names of physical features on Mars. Well documented and fully illustrated with many colorful photos and digital images, this is a book that space technology fans won't want to miss.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (page 76) and index.
Word Count: 15,905
Reading Level: 6.4
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.4 / points: 3.0 / quiz: 151231 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:7.4 / points:7.0 / quiz:Q57831
Lexile: 950L
Guided Reading Level: X

On June 10, 2003, a little rover named Spirit blasted off on a rocket headed for Mars. On July 7, 2003, a twin rover named Opportunity soared through the solar system with the same mission: to find out if Mars ever had water that could have supported life. A thrilling addition to the acclaimed Scientists in the Field series, The Mighty Mars Rovers tells the greatest space robot adventure of all time through the eyes--and heart--of Steven Squyres, professor of astronomy at Cornell University and lead scientist on the mission. This suspenseful page-turner captures the hair-raising human emotions felt during the adventures with two tough rovers.


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