Phenomenal new observations from Earth-based telescopes and Mars-based orbiters, landers, and rovers have dramatically advanced our understanding of the past environments on Mars. These include the first global-scale infrared and reflectance spectroscopic maps of the surface, leading to the discovery of key minerals indicative of specific past climate conditions; the discovery of large reservoirs of subsurface water ice; and the detailed in situ roving investigations of three new landing sites.
This an important, new overview of the compositional and mineralogic properties of Mars since the last major study published in 1992. An exciting resource for all researchers and students in planetary science, astronomy, space exploration, planetary geology, and planetary geochemistry where specialized terms are explained to be easily understood by all who are just entering the field.
On the whole, this is a strongly multidisciplinary reference book that contains a lot of technical information, all pitched at a high scientific standard. The bulk o fit may at first seem inaccessible to non-experts. However, most of the papers are written in such a way as to make it possible for the non-expert to gloss over the details, while still developing a feel for the essential points. Anyone with some background in planetary science, geochemistry, astronomy, astriobiology or space exploration stands to learn an extensive amount about the state of the art in Mars science at present. ...A reference book like this would...be great to have at hand for both experts and students, as we follow the progress of our next European mission towards finding a destination on the surface of Mars.
- Danielle Wills, Astrobiology Society of Britain
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