Planetary cartographer releases Mars atlas


Award-winning Western planetary cartographer Philip Stooke will officially launch his latest project, The International Atlas of Mars Exploration – The First Five Decades: 1953 to 2003, on Wednesday as he addresses the Probus Club of North London at its annual general meeting.

The presentation, scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Garden Room, Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre, will include a lecture and a question-and-answer period.

Stooke, an international authority on the mapping of lunar and planetary exploration, previously released The International Atlas of Lunar Exploration. Both atlases, as well as his forthcoming The International Atlas of Mars Exploration – Spirit to Curiosity: 2004 to 2014, were published by Cambridge University Press.

“It’s not unlike an atlas of Canadian Arctic exploration with detailed maps of all the explorers’ routes, what they did at each stop, reproductions of the maps they used and so on,” said Stooke, a professor cross-appointed at Western’s Departments of Geography and Physics & Astronomy. “This kind of representation has never been done before.”

Stooke collected a wealth of information from many sources, including a great deal of material that has never been published before.

Hailed as a comprehensive reference on Mars exploration, The International Atlas of Mars Exploration – The First Five Decades: 1953 to 2003, tells the story of every spacecraft mission to Mars since the dawn of the space age, illustrating each account with a unique combination of maps and annotated photographs.

“The missions and events are listed in chronological order, providing readers with an easy to follow history of Mars exploration missions,” said Stooke, also a faculty member at Western’s Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration.