On July 4, 1997, the youngest and most unusual team of scientists ever assembled by NASA saved America's planetary space programme. They were the Pathfinder team, whose little Sojourner spacecraft had just landed on the surface of Mars. Now, as new probes race toward the red planet, Brian Muirhead, a Pathfinder alumnus, offers a history of Mars exploration and charts its enticing future. Few people have as deep an understanding of this odyssey as Muirhead does. Indeed, two of the probes that are scheduled to land on Mars in 2004 are direct descendants of the Sojourner he helped build. In this book, he recounts his firsthand experience at the heart of an epic endeavour - from the successes of Pathfinder, through the tragic failures of 1999, up to the exciting Mars explorations that are unfolding right now. He also offers an exciting and authoritative projection of what the future will look like, as Russia, China, the European Space Agency, and NASA all plan manned missions.