With it no longer affordable for the government to send a spaceship to Mars, billionaire John Axelrod sends a privately funded expedition to the Red Planet. Two of the astronauts, Julie and Viktor, are married, and they are joined with Marc and Raoul. Once there they need to survive for two years before they're able to return. However, there are a few mishaps. There's also another Mars mission sent by the Chinese-which further complicates things. Then, Julie makes an amazing discovery-of plant life that lives below the surface of Mars. At first this seems to be a simple organism but the more they investigate the more they realize what this life form is.
If you enjoyed Ben Bova's MARS trilogy and even Andy Weir's THE MARTIAN, you'll love this Mars exploration tale.