National Air and Space Museum geologist recalls inspiration from The Martian Chronicles

Ray Bradbury fans can be found in many places: libraries, English classrooms, science fiction conventions, and, of course, NASA and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Dr. John Grant, a geologist with the Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies who has worked on the Curiosity Laboratory, the Mars 2020 rover and the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, first discovered the red planet when he read Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles.

In his remembrance of Ray Bradbury’s influence, Grant recalls how reading stories of ancient Martian civilizations at the same time the Mariner 9 and Viking missions were actually reaching Mars inspired an interest in planetary geology that took him from imagining Martian craters as he played outside to working on missions that land exploratory vehicles in the real thing.

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