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
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.
To Mars with Love
by Patricia Ann Straat
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.
Reviews & News
“To Mars With Love offers a wonderful, behind-the-scenes, unique, well-written account of the Viking program, and of the men and women who dared to be bold and meld scientific inquiry and technology to look for life on Mars. Dr. Straat’s personal account is one of pioneering persistence and underscores her unquestionable dedication to excellence. This book is a treasure, a fascinating read from an investigator on the frontlines of discovery.”
~ Leonard David, Space Insider Columnist, Space.com
“To Mars with Love tells the amazing story of how
the Labeled Release life detection experiment was
developed into a flight instrument for NASA’s 1976
Viking Mission to Mars, and the surprising positive
results obtained on Mars. The story is told in more
detail, and more convincingly, than has been reported elsewhere. The book also provides vignettes, some hilarious, some frightening, of how Dr. Straat kept her sanity during her ten grueling years on the project. The book makes a strong case for breaking the ancient Paradigm ‘we are alone.’ Indeed, Pat, with her To Mars with Love, may be casting the first jewel.
Gilbert V. Levin, Experimenter
Viking Labeled Release Experiment
“I just finished reading your book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Handling fluids on Mars is not an easy task as I have learned first-hand with the SAM wet chemistry experiment on Curiosity. Even though I have read many of the scientific publications from the analysis of Viking data, your book really helped me understand the context of the measurements and the tremendous amount of work that went in to making a successful set of experiments. I remain optimistic that we will eventually find unambiguous evidence of life on Mars, but it will require many missions and measurement strategies. You are a true pioneer in the search for life on Mars. Thank you for sharing your story!”