Lambright’s new book explores NASA’s Mars program

Lambright, HenryFor decades, Mars has captured the human imagination.  Since NASA’s establishment in 1958, the space agency has looked to Mars as a compelling prize, the one place beyond the Moon where robotic and human exploration could possibly converge.  In his new book, Why Mars:  NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration, W. Henry Lambright explores the history of the robotic Mars exploration program and examines the politics and policies behind NASA’s multi-decade, billion-dollar quest.  

Calling Mars exploration a striking example of “big science,” Lambright describes the ways in which a powerful advocacy coalition -- including NASA decision makers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Mars academic science community – has influenced governmental decisions on Mars exploration.  Ultimately, the book suggests that from Mars exploration we can learn lessons that apply to other large-scale national endeavors in science and technology.

Lambright, professor of public administration and international affairs, is also the author of Powering Apollo:  James E. Webb of NASA and Space Policy in the Twenty-First Century.  All three books are published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Lambright also appeared as a guest on The Space Show, where he discussed his new book. 07/16/14