Science and Exploration

From the Earth to Mars, a New Graphic Novel from Space Pioneer Jeffrey Manber is Now Available

By SpaceRef Editor
Multiverse Media
April 18, 2023
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From the Earth to Mars, a New Graphic Novel from Space Pioneer Jeffrey Manber is Now Available
From the Earth to Mars

DENVER, Colorado, April 18, 2023 – Over 100 years ago, the first generation of space pioneers took the first steps to make space exploration the reality we know today. From space tourism to orbiting hotels and permanent colonies on the Moon and one day even Mars, the exploration of space is humanity’s next great journey.

From the Earth to Mars – The Surprising History of the Rocket Pioneers Who Launched Humanity Into Space, published by Multiverse Media, is a graphic novel — which draws its name from French science fiction writer Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon, which inspired many of the first space engineers and mathematicians — that brings to life the visionaries who first realized the timeless dream of rocket travel in the early 1900s. Conceived by Jeffrey Manber, a commercial space pioneer, Episodes 1 and 2 detail the intertwined similarities of the space communities that erupted first in Russia and then Germany, before the first rockets were even constructed, and before governments sought to control space exploration.
“I always wondered just how space exploration moved from science fiction to reality,” admits Manber, “The story turned out far crazier and more relevant than I imagined!”

Manber guides the journey from the science fiction wonders of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells to their devoted readers who changed the course of space exploration, including the Russian schoolteacher Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and the Romanian-German engineer Hermann Oberth. From there, the space-influenced web includes the German film artists Fritz Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou, the French space businessman Robert Esnault-Pelterie and the long-forgotten Latvian-Russian Friedrich Tsander, whose cry of “On to Mars, On to Mars!” that inspired so many other early influential space dreamers. 

The stories of German Space Pandemonium in Episode 1 and Russia’s Space Craze in Episode 2 focus on the magical ingredients that by the end of the 1920s took rocket travel in Europe from ridicule to acceptance. And why America lacked the founding space ecosystem, with only Robert Goddard pushing the US forward.

Focused squarely on historical fact, the reader comes to understand the lessons to be learned from a century ago as humanity today prepares to permanently settle on the lunar surface and begin the human exploration of Mars. 

The graphic novel is filled with illustrations by Shraya Rajbhandary and concise cartoon strips by Jay Mazhar.

“I felt the book needed the differing styles of Shraya and Jay,” explains Manber, “Shraya has a classic almost pencil style which reflects the historical nature of the story. And Jays’ crisp cartoon strips are just a delight to read. Together—the story is made even more enjoyable.” Manber goes on to say, “both artists were fantastic about working with me to ensure that every image is historically accurate. Well, almost every image, not the final cartoon strip that has me as a waiter alerting all the first-generation pioneers that soon enough all their space visions will be taken over by the governments.”

Given the importance of our space exploration both today and tomorrow, From the Earth to Mars is long overdue. “My hope is that not only will new professionals in the industry learn about our past, but so too will students. Everyone connected to space travel needs to understand the decisions that led us to the space industry of today.” 

From the Earth to Mars is available on Amazon and Apple Books.

About Jeffrey Manber

Jeffrey Manber is President of International and Space Stations at Voyager Space. He also serves as Chairman of the Board for Nanoracks.

Jeffrey also co-developed the first fund dedicated to commercial space on Wall Street with Shearson Lehman. He has served as an advisor to numerous space companies and governments. The author of three books, his second Selling Peace, chronicles his time working with the Russian space program. In 2012, Jeffrey was awarded the NASA Exceptional Public Achievement Medal and the Space Frontier Foundation’s 2017 Pioneer of New Space Award.

From the Earth to Mars website:

About Multiverse Media

The Multiverse Media is a fully integrated media company focusing on space exploration, science, and technology. Multiverse Media products and services come from three divisions: digital news and intelligence, multimedia publishing, and film and video production.

Our film and video production division created the multiple award-winning documentary, “The High Frontier: The Untold Story of Gerard K. O’Neill”, which is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and on streaming platforms including Amazon Prime, Apple TV and others.

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SpaceRef staff editor.