In 1965, the Mariner spacecraft made the first successful flyby of Mars, taking 22 photos of the planet’s surface. In 1976, NASA landed twin Viking probes on Mars. Since 1996, a series of Martian rovers have enabled charting of ancient rivers, lakes, ocean beds, and valleys — a landscape that once perhaps could have supported life. Preparations for a manned mission to Mars are underway today. In Mars: Making Contact, Rod Pyle draws on oral histories and interviews, and includes a library of photos to tell the saga of human exploration of the red planet.