Books That Inspire 2003

The Sands of Mars
Arthur C. Clarke

As a girl growing up in Wynnewood, Oklahoma (pop. 2500) I was addicted to science fiction. Arthur C. Clarke’s The Sands of Mars featured a colony of scientists and engineers living on Mars. The characters were realistic. They did not swashbuckle but confronted danger with determination and creativity, just like real engineers. They were my first role models and helped inspire me to study aerospace engineering at OU and to go on to a career that culminated in management of the Mars Exploration Program. Images from Mars Pathfinder 1997 were just as I imagined them 45 years before when reading Sands.
Donna Shirley
Aerospace Mechanical Engineering