Postcards from Mars; The First Photographer on the Red Planet

Jim Bell (Photographer) New York, N.Y. Dutton, 2006. First Printing [Stated]. Hardcover. xi, [1], 196 pages. Illustrations (many in color). DJ has partial plastic covering. DJ has some wear, soiling, and edge tears and chips. Oversized book, measuring 12 inches by 12 inches. Includes Foreword by Bill Nye; Preface, Part 1: The First Thing to Photograph; Part 2: With Spirit in Guesev Crater; Part 3: An Opportunity in Meridiani. Also contains Postscript; Acknowledgments; Appendix; Additional Resources; and Index. James (Jim) F. Bell III (born July 23, 1965) is a Professor of Astronomy at Arizona State University, specializing in the study of planetary geology, geochemistry and mineralogy using data obtained from telescopes and from various spacecraft missions. Dr. Bell's active research has involved the NASA Mars Pathfinder, Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR), Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR), 2001 Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Mars Science Laboratory missions. His book Postcards from Mars includes many images taken by the Mars rovers. Dr. Bell has been an editor of the space science journal Icarus and president of The Planetary Society. He has served as the lead scientist in charge of the Panoramic camera (Pancam) color imaging system on Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Bell is an active planetary scientist and has been involved in many NASA robotic space exploration missions. As a professional scientist, he has published over 30 first-authored and 140 co-authored scientific research papers and over 400 short abstracts and conference presentations. What became one of the most thrilling of all journeys of the modern space era put the Spirit and Opportunity mobile robots on the surface of Mars with a dazzling array of scientific instruments, including unique stereo panoramic cameras--the culmination of years of engineering research and development. Aboard their solar panel-powered rovers, these cameras were expected to take photographs for about three months. No one imagined that after more than two years these superbly designed robots would still be exploring the plains and mountains of Mars. So far they have sent back over 150,000 images, some taking days to reach us across the tens of millions of space that separate us from our closet planetary neighbor. Jim Bell was charged at the beginning of the mission with delivering this historic view to the world. Every color image went from Mars to Earth and then through his laptop computer before being posted or printed. He has now completed the selection, cropping, and processing of these images, some over 20,000 pixels wide, for presentation in the large-format "book for the ages" that they deserve. Four of the most breathtaking "hyper-real" panoramas are printed on magnificent 46-inch-wide gatefolds. Also included are photographs from microscopic imagers offering close-up views of the unnervingly strange yet familiar rocks and soil that the Spirit and Opportunity rovers trekked across. A work that evokes spine-tingling thoughts of our place in the universe in a way human artifacts have never been able to do before, Postcards from Mars is a masterpiece of both art and science.

The most fantastic of all journeys—the Spirit and Opportunity mobile robot missions to the surface of Mars—produced over 150,000 astonishing photographs. While the images were made available on low-resolution computer screens as they were sent back across millions of space miles, no one until now has done the painstaking work of editing, cropping, and processing these massive (often larger than 100 megabytes) images. The person to do it is Jim Bell, the scientist and photographer who led the photography team on this historic expedition. With his unique perspective, these photographs take us from the brave launches of these robots, to the alien landscape they discovered and the mysteries of the planet that they have helped to solve. Over 150 lavish full-color-process prints bring the colors and textures of Mars to vivid life on the page. Four of the most impressive pictures are presented in their entirety as gatefold images—which extend over three feet in width—providing a view of the surface of another planet unprecedented in its detail and clarity. Postcards from Mars is the perfect gift to give readers who have their feet on the ground and their eyes on the heavens.
Condition: Very Good / Good.

Keywords: Mars (Planet), Pictorial Works, Bill Nye, Gusev Crater, Meridiani, Endurance Crater, Eagle Crater, Columbia Hills, Erebus Crater, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mars Pathfinder, NASA, Rover Opportunity, Pancam, Rover Spirit

ISBN: 0525949852

[Book #81014]

Price: $100.00

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