Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars (Hardback)
Space, Exploration and Life on Earth
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‘Filled with wonderment and awe … Greene’s eloquent memoir is equal parts escape and comfort.’ Publishers Weekly
A powerful reflection on life in isolation, in pursuit of the dream of Mars.
In 2013 Kate Greene moved to Mars.
On NASA’s first HI-SEAS simulated Mars mission in Hawaii, she lived for four months in an isolated geodesic dome with her crewmates, gaining incredible insight into human behaviour in tight quarters, as well as the nature of boredom, dreams and isolation that arise amidst the promise of scientific progress and glory.
Greene draws on her experience to contemplate what makes an astronaut, the challenges of freeze-dried eggs and time-lagged correspondence, the cost of shooting for a Planet B.
The result is a story of space and life, of the slippage between dreams and reality, of bodies in space, and of humanity’s incredible impulse to explore. From trying out life on Mars, Greene examines what it is to live on Earth.
‘In her thoughtful, well-written account of the mission, Greene reflects on what this and other space missions can teach us about ourselves and life on Earth.’ Physics Today
‘Looking for a relatable isolation read after enduring so much pandemic-fueled social isolation? This may be just the book you need. Kate Greene’s memoir recounts her time spent as a research participant for NASA in a Mars simulation study. Over the course of four months, Kate lived in insolation with a handful of other participants inside a geodesic dome perched along a Hawaiian volcanic slope. Kate pairs her story of simulating life on Mars with reflections on her queer identity, her brother’s disability, and more.’