Titan by Stephen Baxter

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This is quite a book, written in 1997 but set between 2004 and 2016 (and beyond...)
Not only is the book quite big at 580 pages but it presents a big concept. In some ways it's like his earlier book 'Voyage', which describes a prospective trip to Mars. Titan is similar with all its politics and logistical wrangling.
The first two thirds of the book deals with the discovery of possible life on Titan by the Cassini probe (which arrived at Titan in 2004/5, the time period in which the book opens) followed by a manned mission to the Saturnian moon and the struggles to get a mission profile. There is a lot of infighting between NASA and the USAF, (Baxter paints them as dread enemies!) but eventually a mission to Titan is begun. Once the mission is on its way Baxter deals with the struggles aboard a cobbled together space ship and how its crew learn to live together on a 6 year mission.
Eventually they get to Titan, and when Baxter takes us somewhere we really know about it! Good stuff.
 

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