STS 361

Mars Exploration

A survey of the history, science, and technology of Mars exploration. Topics include the discovery of Mars by ancient civilizations, the first telescopic observations of Mars, the economics and politics of the U.S. and Russian Mars exploration programs, spacecraft design and the technologies needed for planetary exploration, and the future of Mars exploration including a possible manned mission to Mars. The scientific component of this course focuses on the planetary evolution of Mars and the question of whether life might have arisen on Mars. The class also takes a brief look at Mars in popular culture including literature, radio, and film.