Lowell’s observations, writings, and speeches inspired the first generation of rocketeers—Wernher von Braun, Sergei Korolev, and Robert Goddard—whose work led to the exploration of Mars by spacecraft. As I gaze through Lowell’s old telescope, I imagine NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft en route to the Red Planet, taking advantage of the 2001 opposition. Our robot explorers have proven Lowell’s theories wrong, but I think he would be delighted by the wonders they have found.
—David S.F. Portree