Scholastic, Mars Institute and SETI Institute Take Flight with the Launch of New Nonfiction Book “MISSION: MARS”

Authored by Space Scientist Dr. Pascal Lee; Available Exclusively Through Scholastic Reading Club in October and at Bookstores Nationwide in November

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NEW YORK – October 7, 2013 – In celebration of World Space Week, whose theme this year is Mars exploration, Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, announces the North American release of MISSION: MARS, a new nonfiction children’s book for readers in grades 4 through 6* (ages 9–12) by renowned Mars scientist Dr. Pascal Lee. This exciting book is available exclusively through Scholastic Reading Club throughout October and at bookstores nationwide starting November 1, 2013. MISSION: MARS (ISBN 978-0-545-56532-5) provides an in-depth look at what it will take to get us to Mars, and how we’ll explore that world once we get there. For more information, go to scholastic.com/missionmars.

Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin shared this praise for the book: “Pascal Lee is a true pioneer of Mars exploration. This book makes me want to put on a space suit and go to Mars!”

MISSION: MARS provides readers a training guide for this century’s most daring undertaking in space – a human mission to Mars by 2035. Author Dr. Pascal Lee takes young readers behind the scenes to learn about work being done at NASA and elsewhere to get humans ready for Mars. Each page provides unique scientific and technical facts and trivia, from Mars’ seven natural wonders, to areas on Earth that mimic the terrain of Mars, to conceptual drawings of tomorrow’s Mars ships, spacesuits, Mars habitats, and human-piloted rovers. To engage readers even further, MISSION: MARS draws from Dr. Lee’s own “field notes” and provides imaginative images, “training drills” and detailed infographics to convey the challenge and wonder of journeying to Mars.

“Today’s children will see humanity explore Mars,” said Dr. Pascal Lee, Chairman of the Mars Institute and a Planetary Scientist at the SETI Institute. “This is why it is so critical for children to learn about science, technology, and space exploration at an early age. I wanted to write a book that would make kids embrace science, think big, and follow their dreams.”

In addition, Scholastic created free Common Core–ready resources for teachers that are available on the MISSION: MARS companion site, scholastic.com/missionmars. Students and teachers can access exclusive videos featuring Dr. Lee on exciting science and engineering topics such as “Are there Aliens on Mars?”, “Designing a Spacesuit for Mars”, “Planning Future Mars Rovers”, and more. The site also provides a teacher discussion guide geared toward Common Core and STEM education surrounding material found in MISSION: MARS.

“Teachers are always asking for more nonfiction books and we had the good fortune to work with Dr. Lee to bring space knowledge to all children and classrooms,” said David Allender, Editorial Director for Scholastic Reading Club. “We know kids are always fascinated with space, and this book, along with the supporting videos, paves the way for young readers to become future Mars explorers.”

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* Appealing to readers from grades 4 through 6 and targeted at the 5th grade “Reading Level.” The overall reading averages of the Lexile, GRL, DRA and AR level systems.

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About the Author, Dr. Pascal Lee:

Dr. Lee is chairman of the Mars Institute and a planetary scientist at the SETI Institute. He is best known as the intrepid leader of NASA’s Haughton-Mars Project expeditions to the Arctic, a research project dedicated to planning humanity’s future voyages to the Red Planet. Pascal’s interest in space began at an early age. When he was six, he built his first “spaceship” by putting a laundry basket on roller skates. He refined his skills by studying physics and geology at the University of Paris, and he went on to get a PhD in astronomy and space sciences at Cornell University. He is based at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

About Mars Institute

The Mars Institute is an international non-profit research organization dedicated to advancing the scientific study, exploration, and public understanding of Mars. Research at the Mars Institute focuses on Mars Science and Exploration. The Institute also conducts research on the Moon, Deep Space, Near-Earth Objects, and Mars’s moons Phobos and Deimos, viewed as stepping-stones in the exploration of Mars. The Mars Institute is committed to conducting high quality peer-reviewed research and to sharing the knowledge and benefits of space exploration with students and the general public worldwide. Headquartered at the NASA Ames Research Park, Moffett Field, California, the Mars Institute also has offices in Toronto, Canada, and Stavanger, Norway. For more information, please visit www.marsinstitute.info.


About SETI Institute

The SETI Institute is a multi-disciplinary, highly collaborative, research organization designed to explore, understand, and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe utilizing expertise in fields ranging from astrophysics and planetary science to biology and social science, as well as computer science and signal detection.  We have a passion not only for discovery, but also for sharing knowledge as scientific ambassadors to the public, the press, and the government.  The SETI Institute is a distinguished partner for government agencies, academic institutions, and corporations around the world.