When the rocket launching the Mars Transit Vehicle into orbit explodes on the launch pad, killing four crewmen, the President announces the U.S. will redirect its energies to near-Earth projects. The manned mission to Mars is officially dead. That is until billionaire John Axelrod steps in to fund the project. Although the risks are high, several young astronauts sign on. But these new pioneers are not alone -- a European-Asian airbus will be making a similar expedition. Now the race is on to get to the fourth planet first. Both teams reach the Red Planet, but with disastrous results. Now the problem isn't who will return to Earth first, but if any of them will return at all.
So, interestingly, this was actually first published back in 1998/1999 ! Which makes it even more interesting to me, because it was recommended to me when I was chatting to @benguela about the whole Mars One thing, which currently fascinates me. Not enough to offer myself up on the one-way trip, but enough to be keeping a semi-regular eye on it and consider purchasing one of the T-Shirts while we were in America (I didn't).
So, let's consider that when this was written, 2015 and 2018 (the primary years that the story-telling takes place) were more than 10 years away ... and now we are practically on the cusp. This book is brilliant, I loved it.
It was fascinating and interesting ... and not "too Sci-Fi", as The Peeb would say.
Mars One announces Round 2 Astronaut Selection Results. Read the full press release here: http://t.co/hdyhiUPrZ1
— Mars One (@MarsOneProject) December 30, 2013