Review Blog

Oct 18 2017

Curiosity: the story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum

cover image

Walker Studio, 2017. ISBN 9781406374681
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Mars. Spacecraft. NASA. Exploration. STEM. This beautifully presented book gave me all the information I needed to know about Curiosity, the Rover which landed on Mars in 2012 to explore that planet's surface. The unadorned text introduces the reader to the space program designed to find out more about Mars, our closest planet, and tell us why this mission is being carried out. In sepia tones throughout the book, the illustrations reveal the intricacies of Curiosity's make-up, the cameras, wheels, laboratory equipment, battery and communication technology. The size of a small car, the machine has a lot of work to do once on Mars, photographing and sending back images of the landscape, taking up pieces of the surface with its arms and testing the material to send back the results.
The expectation that this machine would uncover some of the information that scientists want to know about Mars spurs them on. Mars, the red planet is the closest in make-up to our planet Earth, and so scientists hope to discover what it is made up of and why it is now seemingly desolate. The launch of the rocket taking 'Curiosity' to Mars is described in detail, showing the various parts of the rocket as it takes off, leaving behind boosters so that the final piece to get to Mars lands safely. The speeds at which it hurtles through space are mind boggling, and then the slowness of the machine as it traverses across Mars just as intriguing. Curiosity must first take photos of itself to send back to earth so that scientists can gauge whether it was damaged as it landed on Mars.
I found this an altogether intriguing and fascinating book: loved the diagrams, the information about why we need to go to Mars, the statistics, the maps of the planets, the people back on Earth, NASA. A great introduction to the exploration of space and why it occurs will delight and educate younger readers, as well as older ones.
Fran Knight

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