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Exploring Mars

Exploring Mars
Baker
1988

Submitter: I just found this and weeded it from the juvenile non-fiction collection of a public library. I was truly embarrassed that we had it, and then shocked and dismayed to find that multiple other libraries in our consortium also own it. There is no reason any public library should have this as part of its collection. It’s so old that it predates any of the modern era Mars missions like Pathfinder and Curiosity, which it discusses as theoretical missions that may happen in the late 90s. As an added bonus, it predicts that by the year 2019, manned Mars bases may very well become a reality.  (If they do, can someone please make sure that Matt Damon doesn’t get left behind?)

Holly: This book has some fun pictures to look at, and it’s always entertaining to read future science books from decades ago that make wild predictions. This still needs to be removed from most youth non-fiction collections in public libraries, though. Replace it with some new books for kids on Mars exploration! They’ll love them! (Sorry the cover image is so small – it’s all I could find online. The pictures below are normal size.)

More Space Exploration:

Living in the Future

Maybe Someday…the Moon

Weeding is Not Rocket Science

Spaceship Moon

8 Responses to Exploring Mars

  • I love books like these for both the nostalgia and the “why aren’t we there yet” factor. Of course, there should be more up to date matter on the shelves.

  • David has written several updates on this topic. So yes, withdraw it.

    I did see one larger cover photo, but it’s not great. http://pics.cdn.librarything.com/picsizes/e2/d4/e2d43479a1b2c0059674f706877444341587343.jpg

  • Keep this one, but get rid of “Exploring Uranus”….

  • Hmmm, this book may not be quite so obsolete in an age when some consortium is making plans for a colony on Mars. The only hitch about it, though, is that it’s planned to be strictly a one-way trip. You leave Mother Earth, you’re leaving it *forever*. No way jose. Space, the final frontier: who’d want to go there except possibly the most antisocial jerks (after all, didn’t England send their convicts to colonize Australia?), with your only possible contact with loved ones back here being via interstellar Internet and Skype? Give me earth anytime, with all its flaws but also all its creature comforts and everyone I know.

  • The explorers in the last picture seem to have brought with them a drone. Interesting, for 1988.

  • I totally disagree with your attitude on this one. It was books like these, written prior to our landing on the moon, that made me take an interest in science. New books, due to the amount of material they have to cover, often brush aside any discussion of how we got to where we are today. This “dated” information provides an insight as to the views, hopes, and knowledge of its time. Only by knowing what came before, and how people overcame their obstacles, can one appreciate our modern technology. Instead, we only focus on the new so that our kids are robbed of their history.

    • I totally agree. Especially with topics like this where we may not totally know enough about the subject at hand yet to write a book with all factual information. I read about all these UFO books and such that libraries weed….why? They are often popular, it’s not like we now know better information then we did before….and often times materials covered in the past totally have a different perspective on things than we have today. While the entire space exploration section in a library shouldn’t be littered with 1980s books, I think that having a few from different time periods in the past are important in having a well rounded collection.