There's never been a better time to be an armchair astronaut. Forget this planet. The economy is terrible, global warming inevitable, and there are at least eight major wars happening right now. That's why Kessler left home and moved to Mars. Well, not all the way to Mars. The closest spot on Earth you can get without a rocket. In the summer of 2008, he lived a space dream, spending three months in mission control of The Phoenix expedition with 130 top NASA scientists and engineers as they explored Mars. This story is a human drama about modern-day Magellans battling NASA politics—you haven't lived until you've seen this miracle of birth from the inside—and the bizarre world of daily life in mission control. Kessler was the first outsider ever granted unfettered access to such an event, giving us a true Mars exclusive.