To Mars with Love, by Patricia Ann Straat, is the true and intimate account of a young woman's journey into space exploration sciences. As Co-Experimenter of the Viking Labeled Release Experiment (LR), Dr. Straat worked side by side with engineers to develop one of three life detection experiments sent to Mars on the 1976 Viking Mission. Her experiences in laboratories and conference rooms are juxtaposed to her parallel experiences in the beach side communities of Los Angeles, and with the equestrian worlds

of Maryland and California.


Author with LR Test Instrument

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The controversial LR results, positive for microbial life, have been published many times, but the story of the development of the LR flight experiment—with all its challenges, trials, and tribulations—has never before been told. The book encapsulates the six years prior to the Viking landing as well as the primary mission in its tense and humorous moments, bringing to life both the atmosphere and people involved in the mission.

A Maryland Hunt Starting out on a crisp fall day.

The engineering aspects, with never-before-published details, emphasize the enormous problems encountered in such an endeavor. 


The question of life on Mars is discussed in balanced perspective along with possible problems and directions for future Mars exploration.

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To Mars with Love

by Patricia Ann Straat

ISBN: 978-1-64111-150-8

Full Color Hardcover Limited Edition

304 pages with 91 Photos and Figures

Publication Date: January 16, 2019

Price: $29.99 (USD) plus shipping


Author with Test Lander at JPL

The book includes photos of Viking scientists, Viking memorabilia, and the author’s compelling reflections as she takes us back in time to the unprecedented Viking years.