Postcards From Mars
The First Photographer on the Red PlanetBook - 2006
The first photographic tour of the surface of another planet has now been accomplished. Those who thrilled to the lunar beauty of Full Moon and the IMAX smash Roving Mars will marvel at this awesome, vivid, beautiful portrait of what it is like to take a stroll on Mars.
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.
Baker & Taylor
A photographic survey of the surface of Mars features more than 150 full-color prints and four large-width gatefold images taken by mobile robots, and discusses what these landmark missions have revealed.
Bell led the team that built the "Pancam" cameras installed on the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The some 100 double-page (and some fold-out) prints collected here depict the preparation of those missions as well as the stark Martian panoramas captured in images both single and composite, both real- and false-color. Bell applies his sensibilities as a lifetime landscape photographer to select artful and varied depictions of the texture of the Red Planet. The book is oversize: 11.75x11.75". Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Blackwell North Amer
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 miles of space that separate us from our closest 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.
A photographic survey of the surface of Mars, culled from the mobile robot missions to the red planet's surface, features more than 150 full-color prints and four large-width gatefold images complemented by the rover mission photography team leader's discussions about the landmark Mars missions and what they have revealed.