The Mighty Mars Rovers describes the six year mission of Spirit and Opportunity. Steven Squyres's tough rovers were meant to last just three months, but they were able to battle though treacherous terrain, mechanical errors and long sandstorms to send back valuable data proving the existence of water on Mars. As Rusch states, the rovers "did the work of geologists, meteorologists, chemists, photographers, mountain climbers, and crater trekkers." What The Mighty Mars Rovers does well is show that scientific discovery takes a lot of patient trial and error. When trying to see if Opportunity could venture down a giant crater, NASA scientists had to work months to create simulations on Earth of Opportunity's situation before they could comfortably send the rover down a steep hill. While this book provides interesting information about the planet Mars, it focuses mostly on engineering process of building and maintaining the rovers. My only reservation about The Mighty Mars Rovers is that the layout of the book can be distracting at times. A few of the sidebars make it difficult to follow the main narrative; also, the photographic background of the Martian surface makes the text difficult to read on several pages.
The Mighty Mars Rovers is an excellent resource for teaching space exploration and discovery.
Grades 5 and up
3.5 out of 5 stars