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.
Claude A. Piantadosi MD is professor and director of the F. G. Hall Environmental Laboratory at Duke University. Educated at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he trained in undersea medicine and saturation diving in the U.S. Navy and in respiratory physiology and pulmonary medicine at Duke. He spent thirty years as a resource consultant to NASA. He is an author of more than three hundred scientific papers and The Biology of Human Survival: Life and Death in Extreme Environments.
Preface A Short Introduction to the Science of Space Exploration Part 1: Hindsight and Foresight 1. Men and Machines 2. A Space Lexicon 3. The Explorers 4. Twentieth-Century Space 5. Back to the Moon Part 2: A Home Away from Home 6. Living off the Land 7. Round and Round It Goes ... Where It Stops 8. By Force of Gravity 9. The Cosmic Ray Dilemma 10. Tiny Bubbles Part 3: Where Are We Going? 11. The Case for Mars 12. Big Planets 13. New Stars Bibliography and Additional Reading Index