Sojourner by Andrew Mishkin
An Insider's View of the Mars Pathfinder Mission

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Synopsis

Andrew Mishkin, a senior systems engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a leader of NASA's robotic program, brings us this insider's look at the Mars Pathfinder probe that electrified the world's imagination.

One hundred twenty-two million miles away from her controllers, a sophisticated robot smaller than a microwave oven did what had never been done before-explored the rocky, red terrain of Mars. Then, six-wheeled Sojourner beamed spectacular pictures of her one-of-a-kind mission back to Earth. And millions of people were captivated.

Now, with the touch of an expert thriller writer, Sojourner operations team leader Andrew Mishkin tells the inside, human story of the Mars Pathfinder mission's feverish efforts to build a self-guided, offroading robot to explore the surface of the Red Planet. With witty, compelling anecdotes, he describes the clash of temperamental geniuses, the invention of a new work ethic, the turf wars, the chewing-gum solutions to high-tech problems, the controlled chaos behind the strangely beautiful creation of an artificial intelligence-and the exhilaration of inaugurating the next great age of space exploration
 

About Andrew Mishkin

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Andrew Mishkin has been a key player in NASA's robotic program for the past 15 years. He joined the Sojourner rover team at its formation, eventually leading the rover operations team and commanding the rover during its exploration of Mars. In 1997 he received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal.
 
Published December 2, 2003 by Berkley Hardcover. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Millions of viewers watched in fascination in July 1997 as the Mars "rover" Sojourner (named after Sojourner Truth) maneuvered around the Red Planet's surface like an interplanetary dune buggy, sending back pictures of rocks and boulders that were given whimsical names by mission scientists (e.g....

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The Space Review

(MESUR Pathfinder became Mars Pathfinder when NASA decided not to pursue the MESUR concept, which would have required up to 20 identical landers.) The book follows the development of the rover, including the technical challenges involved with building an ambitious spacecraft on a limited schedule...

Dec 22 2003 | Read Full Review of Sojourner: An Insider's View ...

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