- Paperback: 132 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 23, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1495358976
- ISBN-13: 978-1495358975
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,920,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Leaving Earth: Why One-Way to Mars Makes Sense Paperback – February 23, 2014
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About the Author
Andrew Rader is an Aerospace Engineer with a PhD in long duration human spaceflight from MIT and experience on half a dozen space missions. In 2013, he won Discovery Channel's #1 competitive television series Canada's Greatest Know-it-All.
Andrew is currently a second-round candidate for the Mars One project, which aims to send human settlers to the red planet around 2023. He is an avid trivia player and public speaker, giving talks at schools, on convention panels, at museums, and other venues. Andrew also manages history, science, & space Twitter accounts, and designs tabletop games.
Find him at andrew-rader.com.
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Rader surveys applicable history of human migrations, the progress of technology from foot traffic, carts, wagons, canoes, to modern cars, aircraft and rockets, to carry the reader through a logical progression: migrating to Mars would just be an extension of historical migrations into space. Ergo, instead of the NASA program of sending astronauts to Mars and returning them to Earth, the sensible program is to transport willing colonists who will accept up front the condition of permanent life on Mars. Rader gives illustrative quantitative estimates of the savings in payload mass and risk exposure in a one-way trip. For example, exposure to space radiation would be roughly half, as well as risk of death from spacecraft component failure. The argument is strong and persuasive. Yet it clearly cannot be accepted by NASA, an agency so embarrassed by numerous astronaut fatalities that risk minimization is institutionalized. The task will fall to upstart commercial ventures by companies like SpaceX, et al.
Rader's Leaving Earth joins groundbreaking books like Gerard K. O'Neill's The High Frontier, Robert Zubrin's Entering Space, as guiding visionary handbooks. Successors who contemplate Mars colonization would do well to start their plans with Rader's framework. The engines that will carry humankind beyond Earth's gravity are not only made of metal, fuels and flame; they also consist of concepts like those in Leaving Earth. Highly recommended!
Another reason that the author cites is to ensure the survival of the human species by becoming a multi-planet species. Round trip missions do not accomplish this. Also, the innovations and inventions resulting from this effort would create spinoffs that would help improve life on earth. Finally, such a program would help inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
The author is a candidate astronaut for the Mars One program, the one way humans to Mars effort led by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp. The author is also an aerospace engineer with a PH.D, in human spaceflight from MIT (2009) who has worked as a spacecraft engineer on half a dozen space missions. Thus the author knows his subject well and brings a fascinating personal perspective to the topic.
This book does not contain a lot of technical material and is easy to understand for the lay person. The book was easy reading and I read it in one sitting. Yet it is full of thought provoking material.
Mr Rader makes a strong case for a one-way to Mars trip (although I believe the spacecraft manufacturers would likely want their ship(s) back after such an investment). After originally reading this book in 2014 and jotting my notes in the margins, I purchased a second copy, at which point I promptly began making even more notes.
The book is a quick and easy read, that educates along the way. This is ideal for anyone who wants to gain a grounded understanding of the requirements and planning needed for a trip to Mars. As an educator, I have recommended this to students I work with, as well as other teachers and laypeople.
This should be on every space enthusiasts bookshelf or e-reader.