Some terms used in the book

air lock: A small closet like room between two sealable doors that is used to allow passage between a pressurized space and another space having little or no air pressure. To pass from the cabin of the rover in the story to the outside, one goes into the lock, closes the inside door, and pumps the air out of the lock. One can then open the outside door and step out.

Mars rover: To see the pictures and a description click on the red button above labeled as: “The Book.” Then click on the page entitled “The Mars Rover.”

retro sequence: The sequence of events that occur as the Mars lander is approaching and eventually landing on Mars. First retro rockets fire to insert the lander on the desired flight path to a specific point on the planet, then atmospheric braking occurs during which the lander loses 90% of its kinetic energy in the form of heat, then a supersonic parachute is deployed to futher slow the craft, and finally another set of rocket engines fire to lower the craft to a safe landing.

solar flare: An eruption on the surface of the sun characterized by the discharge of large numbers of high energy particles into space. They can occur at any time, but are most frequent during the 11 year sunspot cycles. Without the protection of Earth’s magnetic field and heavy atmosphere, these storms could be deadly to life on our planet. On Mars, they would be equally dangerous if the Colonist did not seek shelter.

waldo: A mechanical arm or hand equipped with various tools so that the human operator can perform tasks remotely. The term originates from a novel written by Robert A. Heinlein entitled Waldo, in which an eccentric inventor constructs mechanical hands that come to be known as “waldos.”

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