Book excerpt: How we’ll live on Mars

I used some of the same underlying concepts in the writing of the Black Hole Sun series.

Stephen Petranek makes the case that humans will live on Mars in the not-too-distant future. He explains how and when this might happen — and what risks those who head there first might face.

Nearly a decade of anticipation has come down to this moment: the spacecraft inches to the surface as the blast effect of braking rockets kicks up red dust. An Earth-bound audience waits eagerly as an announcer reminds them of a press conference that took place years earlier—a meeting that shocked the world and embarrassed NASA, which was still at least two years from testing its Mars spacecraft with humans aboard. On that day, the company behind this private effort to reach Mars revealed that it was about to build a series of huge rockets to transport people to Mars, and that within a decade it would launch one or two of them to make the first manned landing…

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