Fifty years have changed our view of space. The spin-off technologies from the world's space programs have an ever increasing influence on our daily lives. While early spaceflights were mainly nationalistic demonstrations of power, today a wide range of scientific or technological objectives are carried out in space through international cooperation. Commercial missions are also funded by the private sector. Space is now a scientific laboratory, a marketplace, and a workplace. This book describes the latest developments in spaceflight and looks toward humanity's future beyond earth. Over 400 vivid color photos and illustrations present spaceflight's past, present, and future. Complex scientific and technical aspects of the world's space programs are explained in understandable terms. Current research and trends, along with new applications, are discussed. Welcome to the very real final frontier and all the possibilities for its productive, cooperative use.
Prof. Dr. Berndt Feuerbacher has spent over 30 years in active space research and has carried out a number of experiments in the space laboratory (Spacelab) aboard the Space Shuttle and on satellite platforms. In 1985, Prof. Dr. Ernst Messerschmid was a scientist-astronaut conducting research on the D1 "Spacelab" mission aboard the Space Shuttle.