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UK Publisher: Headline

Mars has always held a special fascination for us. Belief in Martians, ‘scupltures’ on the face of the planet, and the mysterious disappearance of Mars-bound spacecraft have fuelled speculation and conspiracy theories. But the real Mars is turning out to be every bit as exciting as these popular myths.

A sister-planet to Earth, Mars is a world of deserts, lake beds, volcanoes and valleys. Yet the closer astronomers look, the stranger the Red Planet becomes. Springs gush from ground that is supposedly frozen solid; volcanoes erupt on a planet that scientists think dies aeons ago. And fossilised bacteria seem to be encased in meteorites mysteriously blasted towards Earth.

Here, for the first time, the inside story of Mars is examined. Couper and Henbest have gained unique behind the scenes access to top Mars experts around the world and uncovered overwhelming optimism in the belief that there is life on Mars today. In a story packed with startling revelations, overturned assumptions and breathtakingly ingenious ideas, they explore the latest astonishing research that is igniting the passions of Mars enthusiasts – from building colonies in the planet’s arctic wastes to devising ways of protecting Earth from possible contamination by Martian bugs.