Arthur C Clarke's The Sands of Mars is his first full length novel. It offers a vision for planetary colonization before any space efforts had been mounted. Clarke describes a nascent Mars colony through the eyes of a popular science fiction writer who was offered the chance to visit. Throughout, there is much description of the science aspects of space flight as well as critical issues pertaining to living on Mars. While the story can be dinged for getting much wrong about Mars, the attempt to deal seriously with potential obstacles makes this story timeless.
Clarke tackles many barriers to space flight and Martian colonization. The weightless aspect may be underplayed, but the physical discomfort is realistic. The concern for spaceship bombardment is notable. While he was a bit generous with environmental conditions on Mars, the assumption of a prior more dense atmosphere is consistent with his envisioning Martian flora and even some fauna. The creative use of one of the Martina moons as an extra source for solar irradiation is also quite creative. Given the time frame of publication (1951) it's likely that many young readers at the time were influenced towards science and engineering and ended up playing a part in the future NASA space program.