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Mankind Beyond Earth: The History, Science, and Future of Human Space Exploration Hardcover – January 1, 2013
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An important book by a visionary with his feet planted on the ground.(Kirkus Reviews)
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.(Library Journal)
This nicely written volume will appeal to the general public and space enthusiasts who want to learn about the hazards of human space exploration.(Choice)
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.(Lisa Messeri MetaScience)
Piantadosi assembles and presents the best of the vast amount of information we have accumulated it will kindle in many a sense of excitement for some of the great adventures still awaiting us as a nation.(SirReadaLot.org)
A whole generation has grown up with tales of the glory of man's excursion into space, and this fact-filled and stimulating book ties the story together and extends it to further exploration of the Moon again and Mars.(Bruce D. Butler, University of Texas Medical School at Houston)
Mankind Beyond Earth offers a wide-ranging analysis of the challenges facing human space exploration. Using examples from polar expeditions, aviation history, undersea voyages, and space missions, Claude A. Piantadosi shows that exploration is unforgiving to those who fail to plan. Piantadosi details the barriers that must be surmounted for humans to leave Earth for long voyages. He supports his case with information from diverse disciplines, including microbiology, radiation physics, botany, astronomy, and physiology. He also makes a strong argument for the United States to refocus on exploring the Moon and to use Moon exploration both for scientific discovery and as preparation for longer trips to Mars.(Jay C. Buckey MD, former payload-specialist astronaut, professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth)
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Top Customer Reviews
Robots are cheaper and easier to send as explorers than to send all the support systems required by fragile humans. Yet manned space missions have given spinoff benefits, such as Teflon, better prosthetics, telemedicine, better preserved foods, better kidney dialysis machines and advances in aviation safety. Space science has given us satellites, so improved communications, forecasting and views of changing climates - and detection of near-flying asteroids. Research will benefit humanity, whether in the field of pure physics or seeing if a biodome can grow enough food to support life on the Moon.
Claude Piantadosi supports returning to the Moon, as a testing ground for the survival systems we will need to explore Mars. He analyses problems at NASA, explaining that when innovators get stifled by red tape and budget cuts they skip off to private industry. We have come an awe-inspiring distance since the start of the twentieth century, when heavier-than-air flight was first achieved by the Wrights. We have landed a robot on Titan, Saturn's largest moon, and Mars Rovers trundle across that planet and send back data.
Biomedicine explores how we can live under stressful conditions, such as a year or more in space. We see comparisons with Tibetan and Andean populations, each of which has found a different physiological adaptation to altitude.Read more ›
The author looks at the history of space exploration and the barriers facing us in the future. As he says, space travel is not just about technology, it also about biology. He makes the point more than once that it is also about finances and politics. He starts off showing the passion of the people who made it to the moon and explains the difficulties they faced.
As we go through the book, he explains the importance of sustenance, waste removal, air for breathing, propulsion, distances, the effects of radiation on physiology and technology and so much more. Who will be the people exploring, what will they explore and how will they do it.
Some people may not like his style of writing. Like many scientific texts, it's written in a mostly informal essay style. While everything he says is related, he tends to jump around a bit. In the space of just a few pages, he explains the measurements we'll use in space (not just KM and light-year but AU and parsec), biomedicine, stress and the effects of radiation. Stuck in there is a great discussion of the people who live above 12,000 feet and how they have adapted to that life.
I say same people may not like it, but I found the entire thing to be fascinating. I've never seen some of the concepts explained as well as the author does it. There are a lot of topics I have never seen addressed for the layman.
This book is sort of like National Geographic for the Space Explorer. Maybe even a little popular mechanics thrown in for good measure.Read more ›
It’s not just physiology that gets this treatment, the author will launch into general discussions of physics, chemistry, geology, scientific history or anything else that interests him with the least excuse. Ever wondered about how we got those International Geophysical and International Polar years? Or what the “Antarctic stare” is? Then this is the book for you. But if you’re looking for a focused discussion of the technology of space travel, you might get frustrated. Think of a late-night rambling discussion with a very smart guy who has thought a lot about exploration of outer space, who has a strong pedantic streak that is tolerable because he actually knows what he’s talking about and it’s interesting stuff.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Posits a convincing argument about why humanity's future in space begins with us returning to the Moon. I now agree 100%!Published 2 months ago by junaid mian
Columbia University Press has caught the spaceflight bug. In the last few years it has published four books relating to spaceflight: "Crowded Orbits: Conflict and Cooperation... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Roger D. Launius
Covers history and physiology of space exploration and the technical difficulties to be faced in the future while remaining very readable. Read morePublished 24 months ago by norgadoc
Dr. Piantadosi thoroughly covers what we have learned so far about the effects of microgravity on human physiology and the anticipated negative environmental factors in space we... Read morePublished on September 1, 2013 by Christopher
This book says it was written for the non-expert. Well, that non-expert must know chemistry and physics a lot better than I do. Read morePublished on July 29, 2013 by Kochava
This is a very enjoyable book about the possible path of human space exploration. The topics covered are those that often come up in conversation about spaceflight and whose... Read morePublished on April 22, 2013 by Alex Tolley