Buzz Aldrin, John Barnes
A message is received from Alpha Centauri, the nearest solar system to our own. It describes how aliens from that system visited Earth around 9000 years ago, and how two data storage units were left behind. One on the Moon, the other on Mars.
With such a prize on offer the space race is reborn as attempts are made to recover the artifacts.
The data stores contain all the aliens’ technological knowledge. Also included is the story of how and why they came here, and what ultimately happened to them.
Don’t be put off by the celebrity aspect. Buzz Aldrin’s knowledge and experience enriches the story greatly.