A True Story
HarperCollins, 2021, 480 pp., Hardcover. $35.00. www.harpercollins.com
In the spirit of Tom Wolfe and John McPhee, The Mission reveals how a motley, determined few expanded the horizon of human achievement. When scientists discovered the first ocean beyond Earth, they had two big questions: “Is it habitable?” and “How do we get there?” To answer the first, they had to solve the second, and so began a vivacious team’s 20-year odyssey to mount a mission to Europa, the ocean moon of Jupiter. This book presents the Homeric, never-before-told story of modern space exploration and provides a magnificent portrait of the inner lives of scientists who study the solar system’s mysterious outer planets. Author David Brown chronicles the remarkable saga of how Europa was won, and what it takes to get things done — both down here, and up there.