Riding on the tidal wave of interest in Mars sparked by the highly successful Mars Pathfinder mission, Mars: Uncovering the Secrets of the Red Planet was first published in hardback in August 1998. The book, now available in paperback edition's loaded with more than 125 spectacular photographs from every successful mission to Mars from Mariner and Viking to Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor. Raeburn portrays both the drama and the human history of the exploration of Mars in seven chapters.
While the text is technically accurate from both engineering and geology viewpoints, its potential dryness is also frequently enlivened by anecdotes that provide a unique personal perspective on more than 30 years of Mars exploration. The players discussed rank among the most distinguished members of planetary science, including Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Lowell, Sagan, and many more currently active scientists too numerous to mention here. The foreword provided by Matt Golombek, the project scientist for Mars Pathfinder at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, sets the stage by outlining some of the major issues in the exploration of Mars. These key issues include the history of water at and below the surface, the possibility of life on Mars and its possible preservation in the Allan Hills meteorite (ALH 84001), and the role of future human exploration in finding some answers.