The stars have always called us, but only for the past forty years or so have we been able to respond by traveling in space. This book explores the human side of spaceflight: why people are willing to brave danger and hardship to go into space; how human culture has shaped past and present missions; and the effects of space travel on health and well-being. A comprehensive and authoritative treatment of its subject, this book combines statistical studies, rich case histories, and gripping anecdotal detail as it investigates the phenomenon of humans in space--from the earliest spaceflights to the missions of tomorrow. Drawing from a strong research base in the behavioral sciences, Harrison covers such topics as habitability, crew selection and training, coping with stress, group dynamics, accidents, and more. In addition to taking a close look at spacefarers themselves, Spacefaring reviews the broad organizational and political contexts that shape human progress toward the heavens. With the ongoing construction of the International Space Station, the human journey to the stars continues, and this book will surely help guide the way.
Albert A. Harrison is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis. He is coauthor of Living Aloft: Human Requirements for Extended Spaceflight (1985) and From Antarctica to Outer Space: Life in Isolation and Confinement (1991), and author of After Contact: The Human Response to Extraterrestrial Life (1997).