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[i]To Mars with Love[/i] is the true and intimate account of a young woman's journey into space exploration sciences. As Co-Experimenter of the Viking Labeled Release Experiment (LR), Dr. Straat worked side by side with engineers to develop one of three life detection experiments sent to Mars on the 1976 Viking Mission. Her experiences in laboratories and conference rooms are juxtaposed to her parallel life experiences in the equestrian and beach-side communities of Los Angeles and Maryland.
The story of the development of the LR flight experiment — with all its challenges, trials, and tribulations — has never before been told. The book encapsulates the six years prior to the Viking landing as well as the primary mission in its tense and humorous moments, bringing to life both the atmosphere and people involved in the mission. The controversial LR results, positive for microbial life, are carefully explained in layman terms. The engineering aspects, emphasize the many problems involved in such an endeavor. The question of life on Mars is discussed in balanced perspective along with possible problems and directions for future Mars exploration.
The book includes photos of Viking scientists, Viking memorabilia, and the author's compelling reflections, as she takes us back in time to the unprecedented Viking years.
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