All Shops

Go to British Wildlife

6 issues per year 84 pages per issue Subscription only

British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published six times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

Subscriptions from £25 per year

Conservation Land Management

4 issues per year 44 pages per issue Subscription only

Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

Subscriptions from £18 per year
Academic & Professional Books  Reference  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy

Working on Mars Voyages of Scientific Discovery with the Mars Exploration Rovers

By: William J Clancey(Author)
328 pages, 25 colour & 24 b/w illustrations
Publisher: MIT Press
What it’s like to explore Mars from Earth: How the Mars rovers provide scientists with a virtual experience of being on Mars
Working on Mars
Click to have a closer look
Select version
  • Working on Mars ISBN: 9780262526807 Paperback Sep 2014 Usually dispatched within 4 days
  • Working on Mars ISBN: 9780262017756 Hardback Oct 2012 Out of Print #215371
Selected version: £16.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Geologists in the field climb hills and hang onto craggy outcrops; they put their fingers in sand and scratch, smell, and even taste rocks. Beginning in 2004, however, a team of geologists and other planetary scientists did field science in a dark room in Pasadena, exploring Mars from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) by means of the remotely operated Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). Clustered around monitors, living on Mars time, painstakingly plotting each movement of the rovers and their tools, sensors, and cameras, these scientists reported that they felt as if they were on Mars themselves, doing field science. The MER created a virtual experience of being on Mars.

In Working on Mars, William Clancey examines how the MER has changed the nature of planetary field science. Drawing on his extensive observations of scientists in the field and at the JPL, Clancey investigates how the design of the rover mission enables field science on Mars, explaining how the scientists and rover engineers manipulate the vehicle and why the programmable tools and analytic instruments work so well for them. He shows how the scientists felt not as if they were issuing commands to a machine but rather as if they were working on the red planet, riding together in the rover on a voyage of discovery.

Customer Reviews


William J. Clancey is Chief Scientist of Human-Centered Computing in the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames Research Center, and Senior Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.

By: William J Clancey(Author)
328 pages, 25 colour & 24 b/w illustrations
Publisher: MIT Press
What it’s like to explore Mars from Earth: How the Mars rovers provide scientists with a virtual experience of being on Mars
Media reviews

"Working on Mars provides an enlightening look at running a robotic exploration mission like Spirit and Opportunity – and now Curiosity – and its implications for the future of space exploration itself."
– Jeff Foust, The Space Review

"We hear about the Mars science that has come from the MER mission and the amazing engineering of the rovers. But William Clancey gives us a new perspective: how the humans on Earth worked together to operate the rover on Mars. It's a rare view 'behind the curtain' and provides insight that can inform future exploration of Mars."
– Chris McKay, NASA Ames Research Center

"William Clancey provides an important philosophical as well as technical perspective for future tele-robotic missions to the Moon and planets. I strongly recommend Working on Mars to those who will work there in person as well as those who will continue to operate scientific robots from Earth."
– Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 Astronaut, Former U.S. Senator, Aerospace Consultant

"Working on Mars is chock full of insights about the nature of remote science and presence, beautifully and accessibly written. William Clancey has not only done the painstaking ethnographic observation, but incorporated it with critical thinking about how science and exploration are organized, both cognitively and socially. This book could not have been more interesting and exciting to read, and I'm sure it will be to a number of audiences as well – not least of them scientists and engineers themselves involved in these kinds of missions."
– David Mindell, Director, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, MIT, and author, Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight

"When we conceived the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, it became our science project, the thing we wanted to do on Mars. Little did we know that we would in turn become someone else's science project! William Clancey watched MER as it unfolded. He did it from the inside, but with an outsider's perspective. The result, Working on Mars, is a marvelous description not just of what we did, but of how we did it – and why we did it the way we did. Anyone who wants to understand how this fiendishly complicated mission worked, and why it worked, should read this book."
– Steve Squyres, Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy, Cornell University; Principal Investigator, Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

Current promotions
Backlist BargainsThe Mammal SocietyOrder your free copy of our 2018 equipment catalogueBritish Wildlife