The Best Books About Mars, By the Mars Explorers Themselves

Firsthand accounts of Mars exploration by the people who run the robots.

Members of the Mars InSight team celebrate their spacecraft's safe landing in November 2018. (NASA/ Bill Ingalls)
Air & Space Magazine

Most of the astronauts who traveled to the moon 50 years ago, having been asked incessantly What was it like?, wrote books about the experience. We’ve heard less from the many more people who’ve visited Mars over that same half century.

And with good reason. The actual, wheels-on-the-ground exploring is done by robots. But talk to the Curiosity rover drivers who work on another world every day, or listen to the scientists who devoted their careers to past Mars missions like Viking and Pathfinder, and you’ll see the warm-blooded humans behind the machines. Here are some notable books by those fortunate few whove already, in a sense, become Martians. To quote one of them, Sarah Stewart Johnson, “We’ve built an entire field of science around something we can barely see in the night.”

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