#author.Kim Stanley Robinson
I can only remember some Russian sounding guy's name. It was a multinational team flying to Mars!
Didn't they start dropping devices that would start the terraforming process? They would float on balloons and get "randomly" dropped in different areas of Mars.
There was an associative link to a desert, nomad narrative -- maybe a reference to Dune? and the whole thought stream about desert, nomadic people living on the margins and innovating in dry desperation?