The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps Reprint Edition

56 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0316771634
ISBN-10: 0316771635
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From Kirkus Reviews

In this boldly optimistic manifesto, Savage proclaims a master plan for the human race: to spread life throughout the galaxy. To many, space exploration seems irrelevant to Earth's real problems; but humanity may in fact have no other way to secure its long-term survival. To remain confined to Earth, Savage claims, is to court extinction, possibly within a few decades. Savage (an engineer who has established the Millennial Foundation to promote space exploration) outlines his program for transferring a significant portion of humanity off-planet. The crucial first step is to colonize the ocean surface with floating cities, quadrupling the living space available to the growing population of Earth. This allows us to reverse the degradation of the environment by shifting to the thermal energy of the deep ocean as our primary power source. At the same time, spirulina algae (already on sale in health food stores) becomes a major new food crop. The hardware for these oceanic colonies is already within practical reach: Savage provides a detailed inventory of how his floating cities would work and support themselves, with copious citations of the scientific literature. Once this move is well underway, it frees up energy and resources for the next steps. Improved space vehicles make possible orbiting space colonies, then settlements on the moon. A larger step is terraforming Mars--creating an atmosphere and a water supply for our lifeless neighbor to form a human habitat. On an even longer time scale, the race can expand into the rest of the solar system: asteroids and the moons of other planets. Ultimately, artificial habitats may completely surround the sun. With the resources of an entire solar system at our command, according to Savage, humanity can at last send out emissaries to other stars. The stuff of science fiction? Of course--but rigorously built from existing science, carefully documented, and convincingly argued. Highly recommended. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co (P); Reprint edition (August 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316771635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316771634
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Finlay McWalter on November 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Wow.
If the title of this book didn't clue you in : this guy thinks BIG. No, make that BIIIIG!
Mr. Savage presents a complete programme of technical innovation, starting with colonies at sea and then in orbit, and proceeding to a giant, galaxy-spanning human civilisation. These elements have all been presented before, individually, in both technical and fictional literature, but this is the first place I've seen anyone draw them all together into a single, relatively coherent path.
Now, I do think it's right to be skeptical about a lot of the technical specifics Mr. Savage discusses. I don't share the faith in OTECs that he has, I really doubt his belief that humans can tolerate a 20g acceleration for any protracted period, and I think he over-estimates the willingness of most people to spend their lives in zero-g, crouching inside hollow asteroids (however nicely planted) and munching on vatgrown algae.
Whatever you think of the technical feasibility of his programme, he does present some startling ideas, amongst which I particularly loved (I'm paraphrasing) "Mars is an ecosystem in kit form ... all it needs is a catalyst to spring into life - that catalyst is humanity". Mr. Savage also makes some observations based on the truly titanic human population he foresees - trillions of people living in each of thousands of inhabited systems - he calculates (statistically) that hundreds of exceptional Mozarts, Picassos and Einsteins will simultaneously be alive. Like I said, he thinks big, and reading this made me think a little bigger too - if nothing else, that's the real value in this book.
Mr. Savage has an unerring faith in both technology and humanity.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By RICHARD L CREWS on September 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a deeply inspiring book. Marshall Savage describes a series of steps to colonize our Milky Way Galaxy but also, at the same time, to clean up the Earth's ecosystems and feed (and bring energy resources to) the Earth's poor. The first step is "Aquarius" which involves building floating colonies on the tropical oceans -- colonies that use Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) to get enormous supplies of non-polluting, self-renewing electrical energy from the coldness of the ocean depths. In addition, this process raises huge quantities of nutrient-rich deep ocean water to the surface where (after the energy is extracted) it can be used for mariculture (ocean fish farming) to produce a variety of nutritious fish and sea vegetables.
Using the resources (including the finances and crucial technologies) gained in "Aquarius," Savage next describes space launch systems using laser and mass-driver technologies. This step is called "Bifrost." Then he outlines how we can establish colonies in orbit (a step called "Asgard"). Then on to ecospheres on the Moon (called "Avallon"), creating an Earth-like atmosphere (or "terraforming) Mars (called "Elysium"), and so on to the processes that might be used eventually to send giant spaceships to nearby stars ("Galactia").
This exciting book spawned "The First Millennial Foundation" (now called "The Living Universe Foundation"), an organization of people working to make this future pioneering the "high frontier" of space come true for humanity.
It is well worth reading.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr Nathan S Rogers on January 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Strange thing about this book- you are almost compelled to go out and form your own business exploiting the ideas contained within it. Of course, some of the ideas simply will not be done, such as the giant Earth based electromagnetic catapult for cargo transfer to orbit, but the ideas are so well presented that you know they COULD be done if the money and the will could be found. (The Lunar version of this catapult certainly could be done...) One of the most useful aspects of this book is the enormous list of references that one can look up, they give even the most obscure concepts a great deal of credibility. Marshall Savages most effective contribution to the study of space colonisation though, is that the homes one creates OUT THERE can be beautiful and functional at the same time. We don't have to live in Tuna Cans or Death Stars, we can create living breathing ecospheres that would tear your heart out to leave. A remarkable book. Please buy it. It deserves all the awards available!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Is it fiction or documentary? A dream or a vision of greatness? In my opinion it beats hell out of reading our current headlines. It is a step by step plan that builds much like my old organic chemistry classes did, that is it all seems so clear as long as you don't skip any steps. Extremely interesting, but also very entertaining. About 50 pages into this book I began wishing the author could be given the authority (and the money) to proceed. I will be sending copies to my best friends.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
When I bought this book, I had no idea what I was in for. Savage explains detail to detail about the construction of floating ocean cities, with unlimited power from the oceans. These islands might save Earth in the future. He describes a space launch system that can be much faster and cheaper than current launch systems. He makes the colonization of space very easy, using materials from the Asteroids and the Moon, to support a population of 7.5 quadrillion. This is not science fiction. Everything stated in this book has been tested in the laboratory. Order this NOW!!!!
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