Where Next, Columbus?

Where Next, Columbus? : Future of Space Exploration

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In the decades since the launch of Sputnik, the world has thrilled to the moon walks of the Apollo astronauts, marvelled at photographs of the outer planets brought to us by Voyager, and watched in horror as Challenger exploded before our eyes. No longer the terrifying realm of science fiction, space has been hailed by popular culture as the `final frontier', the focal point of future exploration. Yet today there is no strong consensus about our future in space. Where should we go next? Mars? Deep space? Is it worth the cost to explore space at all? Now, a curator of space history at the Smithsonian, Valerie Neal, has assembled a noted group of writers and thinkers to consider such questions. The result is an intriguing collection of essays that offer stimulating insights into the past, present, and future exploration of new worlds, and the physical, technical, and social challenges to space exploration. Harrison H. Schmitt - the last astronount to set foot on the moon - describes the poetry of an earth-rise, and makes a compelling case for human rather than robot explorers.
Stephen Jay Gould pleads for a manned mission to Mars, one which would scour the Red Planet for signs of life. And physicist Robert L. Forward offers detailed plans for actual starships that could send astronauts to the nearest star system in a single lifetime. Complete with more than fifty colour illustrations, Where Next, Columbus? is a highly colourful and utterly absorbing contribution to a debate that may help define the twenty-first century.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 231 pages
  • 222 x 280 x 24mm | 1,202.01g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • colour illustrations, bibliography
  • 0195092775
  • 9780195092776

Table of contents

Valerie Neal: Introduction. Legacy: Perspectives on past Exploration. 1: Stephen J. Pyne: Voyage of Discovery. 2: harrison H. Schmitt: A Trip to the Moon. 3: Voyager: A Journey of Exploration and Discovery. Challenge: Views of Exploration Today. 4: Thomas E. Lovejoy: Planning for a New Planet. 5: Stephen Jay Gould: A Plea and a Hope for Martian Paleontology. 6: Timothy Ferris: Raising the Roof. 7: Walter E. Massey: Discovery and the Art of Science. Destiny: Questions for Future Explorers. 8: Carl Sagan: Explorers. 9: Robert L. Forward: Technological Limits to Space Exploration. 10: Valerie Neal: Where Next, Columbus?
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About Valerie Neal

About the Editor: Valerie Neal is a Curator of Space History at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. She has written about Spacelab missions and has worked on the support teams for four Space Shuttle flights.
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