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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library with usual stamps/label/pocket. May have discard stamp or blacked-out library info to cover or endpages. Dust jacket in brodart plastic cover.
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Fly Me to the Moon: An Insider's Guide to the New Science of Space Travel Hardcover – February 11, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As astrophysicist and NASA consultant Belbruno explains in this short book, one of the reasons for the exorbitant cost of space flight is the need for huge amounts of fuel. In addition to the cost of the fuel itself, is its weight: "it is very expensive to bring one pound of anything to the Moon—about a quarter million dollars." By solving what are known as three-body equations (the three bodies, for example, being Earth, the Moon and a spacecraft), Belbruno has discovered trajectories between celestial bodies that make use of both chaos theory and gravitational forces, and enable space travel with a fraction of the fuel normally used. The downside is the greater time needed for travel. A trip to the Moon using Belbruno's method, might take three months rather than three days. But this difference poses no trouble for sending supplies and could dramatically lower the cost of building a permanent base on the Moon. Although Belbruno's main ideas are expressed simply enough for the average reader to appreciate, his account of his efforts is disjointed and not as rewarding as the underlying science. Illus. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Space navigation has relied on a method called the Hohmann transfer, but the great weight of fuel constrains the entire architecture of the missions. Mathematician Belbruno, an innovative thinker, has devised remarkable solutions he describes in this popular work. It derives from his technical treatise Capture Dynamics and Chaotic Motions in Celestial Dynamics (2004), and will truly excite anyone interested in the future of space travel. Interspersing personal anecdotes of his career at JPL, Belbruno accessibly explains his alternative method of navigation. It entails coaxing a spacecraft into a gravitationally "weak stability boundary" that surrounds a celestial object so that the craft is gently captured into orbit instead of requiring the huge consumption of rocket fuel. Describing two spacecraft that have already used his techniques, Belbruno then lets our imaginations run to the future possible applications to missions to Mars, detection of Earth-threatening comets, or, more fantastically, a trip to the Alpha Centauri star system. Grounded in real physics, Belbruno's ideas will tantalize the space audience. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (February 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691128227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691128221
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
NASA likes to go BIG ... big rockets, fast travel, lots of fuel. Here is a story about using more natural methods to travel through space. It takes a while, so NASA fired the author, but he got a laugh later. He calls it "surfing the gravitational field". I first heard about it in a lecture series on chaos, very interesting stuff.
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Format: Hardcover
The core ideas in FMttM are quite interesting, and EB explains them well. For non-technical space junkies, this book is a must.

That said, FMttM is outrageously priced at $19.95 retail. It's a very slim and very quick reading book (it took all of about 2 hours to read it leisurely from cover to cover). The core ideas in FMttM could just as well have been written up in a New Yorker-type/length article.

With due respect to the author, I'd recommend picking up a used or remaindered copy of this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have just a little knowledge of math or physics, this book will present a very interesting concept in an enjoyable way. If you want the all the details, then Google Belbruno's technical papers: but you had better have a strong math/physics background.
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