Going on a space trip...

What would it be like to travel to another planet? Jamie Waterman, a Native American geologist gets to find-out in Ben Bova's Mars. At the last minute, Jamie is picked to fill the geology slot in the first International space expedition to Mars. When Jamie first steps onto the Martian surface, he is overwhelmed by the experience and instead of saying his canned politically correct speech, expresses himself in his native Navajo. This simple mistake launches a firestorm among the supporting nations of the expedition. Be sure to read this book to learn about how Jamie and his fellow astronauts survive their Martian experience.

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This might be more science and less fiction... They've been testing a new engine that could get astronauts to the planet in about 39 days (instead of ~6 months with traditional engines). See an article here and one here with snazzy video.