Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity’s Chief Engineer

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Rob Manning, William L. Simon

Narrated By: Bronson Pinchot

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: October 2014

Duration: 7 hours 46 minutes

Summary:

In the course of our enduring quest for knowledge about ourselves and our universe, we haven’t found answers to one of our most fundamental questions: Does life exist anywhere else in the universe? Ten years and billions of dollars in the making, the Mars rover Curiosity is poised to answer this all-important question.

Here, Rob Manning, the project’s chief engineer, tells of bringing the groundbreaking spacecraft to life. Manning and his team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tasked with designing a lander many times larger and more complex than any before, faced technical setbacks, fights over inadequate resources, and the challenges of leading an army of brilliant, passionate, and often frustrated experts.

Manning’s fascinating personal account—which includes information from his exclusive interviews with leading Curiosity scientists—is packed with tales of revolutionary feats of science, technology, and engineering. Listeners experience firsthand the disappointment at encountering persistent technical problems, the agony of near defeat, the sense of victory at finding innovative solutions to these problems, the sheer terror of staking careers and reputations on a lander that couldn’t be tested on Earth, and the rush of triumph at its successful touchdown on Mars on August 5, 2012. This is the story of persistence, dedication, and unrelenting curiosity.

“This is a matchless behind-the-scenes account of intrepid engineers and scientists that banded together to explore far-away Mars. Fueled by their own inquisitiveness and moxie they overcame all odds—technical problems, bureaucratic barriers, even touches of self-doubt—to successfully land the NASA one-ton Curiosity rover on the Red Planet. It is a superb, fact- and fun-filled account of humans on the cutting-edge of opening up a frontier—one that is our future home-away-from-home, Mars.”—Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 astronaut

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