The History, Science, and Future of Human Space Exploration
Seeking to reenergize Americans' passion for the space program, the value of further exploration of the Moon, and the importance of human beings on the final frontier, Claude A. Piantadosi presents a rich history of American space exploration and its major achievements. He emphasizes the importance of reclaiming national command of our manned program and continuing our unmanned space missions, and he stresses the many adventures that still await us in the unfolding universe. Acknowledging space exploration's practical and financial obstacles, Piantadosi challenges us to revitalize American leadership in space exploration in order to reap its scientific bounty.
Piantadosi explains why space exploration, a captivating story of ambition, invention, and discovery, is also increasingly difficult and why space experts always seem to disagree. He argues that the future of the space program requires merging the practicalities of exploration with the constraints of human biology. Space science deals with the unknown, and the margin (and budget) for error is small. Lethal near-vacuum conditions, deadly cosmic radiation, microgravity, vast distances, and highly scattered resources remain immense physical problems. To forge ahead, America needs to develop affordable space transportation and flexible exploration strategies based in sound science. Piantadosi closes with suggestions for accomplishing these goals, combining his healthy skepticism as a scientist with an unshakable belief in space's untapped--and wholly worthwhile--potential.
An important book by a visionary with his feet planted on the ground.
Finally, a give-it-to-me-straight account of why space exploration matters. In Mankind Beyond Earth, Claude A. Piantadosi folds together science, politics, and culture to demonstrate why a civilization without a spacefaring future is doomed to extinction.
Neil Degrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History, author of Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
In this engaging book, Claude A. Piantadosi presents a concise and accurate history of how our nation's space program arrived at its current uncertain juncture, supplementing it with powerful insights into a wide range of fields, from planetary science to human physiology. This is a compelling work from a scientist committed to expanding the human exploration of our universe.
Michael L. Gernhardt, NASA astronaut, manager of the Environmental Physiology Laboratory at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Recommended for readers intrigued by the real-life requirements of space exploration.
This nicely written volume will appeal to the general public and space enthusiasts who want to learn about the hazards of human space exploration.
Piantadosi's goal throughout the book is to explain to the lay audience why spaceexploration is difficult and important. He achieves this first goal in a clear manner,very accessible to someone without a technical background.
PrefaceA Short Introduction to the Science of Space ExplorationPart 1: Hindsight and Foresight1. Men and Machines2. A Space Lexicon3. The Explorers4. Twentieth-Century Space5. Back to the MoonPart 2: A Home Away from Home6. Living off the Land7. Round and Round It Goes . . . Where It Stops8. By Force of Gravity9. The Cosmic Ray Dilemma10. Tiny BubblesPart 3: Where Are We Going?11. The Case for Mars12. Big Planets13. New StarsBibliography and Additional ReadingIndex
Read the chapter, "The Case for Mars" (to view in full screen, click on icon in bottom right-hand corner)