2004: NASA's Cassini probe reaches Saturn - and the story of Titan begins.
Titan is the epic saga of one woman's will to succeed and the triumph of a dream over bureaucracy and fear. Paula Benacerraf, grandmother and astronaut, is appointed to oversee the dismantling of the Shuttle fleet after another Challenger-type disaster. Instead, she listens to the oddball JPL scientist Rosenberg, who is determined to explore the ammonia-based life Cassini discovers on Titan.
Using NASA's rusting Saturn rockets, mothballed Apollos and remaining Shuttles, frail humans are hurled, in the face of violent opposition from the military, to the edge of the Solar System. To the edge, also, of sanity.
Stephen Baxter applied to become an astronaut in 1991. He didn't make it, but achieved the next best thing by becoming a science fiction writer, and his novels and short stories have been published and have won awards around the world. His science background is in maths and engineering. He is married and lives in Buckinghamshire.