- Hardcover: 247 pages
- Publisher: Copernicus; 2007 edition (June 6, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0387360549
- ISBN-13: 978-0387360546
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,890,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Living Off the Land in Space: Green Roads to the Cosmos 2007th Edition
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From the reviews:
"The goal of the book is to provide a realistic view of what might be possible with technologies that are accessible in the near future. A wealth of references at the end of each chapter point the way to further resources. Living Off the Land in Space should satisfy anyone who wants to learn about space colonization and the propulsion methods that will make it happen." (Bernd Henschenmacher, www.centauri-dreams.org, September, 2007)
"This book is … about ways of powering spaceships to get to other worlds. … the book explores ways of accelerating spaceships using the environments encountered on the journey through space. … The book discusses other means of powering spacecraft, including gravity assists from planetary flybys, ion drives, solar sailing and electromagnetic tethers. … Overall the book is more a review of current or developing techniques … . I found it an enjoyable read and informative." (P L Dyson, Australian Physics, Vol. 45 (1), 2008)
"A sustainable long-term presence in space certainly requires the use of in-space resources with new technologies. This is the subject of the book Living off the Land in Space. Green Roads to the Cosmos. The word Green refers to the use of technologies lessening or eliminating any dependence on Earth, not because they have no impact on Earth’s environment. … I can recommend this book to everyone interested in the future of space exploration. The book is written by a pair of scientists … ." (Claude Semay, Physicalia, Vol. 30 (2), 2008)
From the Back Cover
A number of new space-propulsion technologies- including the solar sail, the solar-electric rocket, solar-thermal propulsion, aerocapture, tethers and advanced chemical propulsion- are becoming operational or are in an advanced state of development. This book draws parallels with the settlement of terrestrial frontiers to investigate how new space propulsion techniques may help future space settlers exploit extraterrestrial resources to establish independence from the Earth.
"Living Off the Land in Space," a collaboration among two space scientists and an artist, is illuminated with many NASA-derived computer-generated images, including drawings, and presents the human (as well as the technological) side of space settlement. It will be an inspiring and indispensible source for those wishing to share in this great adventure.
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Top Customer Reviews
This was a very light read. If you want more depth in any particular technology, another book specializing in that technology would probably be better.
This book has a very good logical sequence of the chapters, which includes virtually the most important items at the time of the manuscript completion. Who is really interested in reading a book regarding the evergreen human desire for space exploration and space expansion - the final frontier - not based on fantasy, but on solid cultural basis, can find an excellent overview in this 250-page book.
Rome - Italy, May 20, 2008
Vulpetti Giovanni, PhD.
International Academy of Astronautics, Paris - France
Really, how often did you see Kirk in an enviro-suit and oxygen mask whilst cannodling on the surface of Virgos V?
Now, back to the book -
To my slight disappointment, however, there is much more technological discussion, and much less fantastical futuristic musings. Oh well.
Strangely, despite my lack of techie impulses, once I resigned myself to a bit of a slog through the 'hard' side, I did find myself intrigued by the reasoned discussion of various propulsion systems (chem-fuel, ramjets, magnetic-electric tethers, solar sails, ion! drives and more), an explication of the really really really unimaginably vast distances of SPACE (as in roughly 7,000 years - years! worth of travel (at our best modern rates) to reach Alpha Centauri - our nearest stellar neighbor), and a strange little inserted list explaining the levels that ideas, theories, and prototypes all go through before floating off towards our planetary neighbors, handily illustrated by even more interesting types of hardware that most people don't know we're developing.
The book (freely admitted both at beginning and end) is a bit dated, which is both good and bad. Good, because that means that our current levels of space interest are high enough to make this book outdated by the time it hits the presses; bad in that even the casual reader can smile sadly when he comments on the Japanese mission probe "which will return with asteroid samples in June of 2007" ... or not.
Lastly, the neo-hippy vibe of the title does not carry through the book. The exact idea - utilizing resources from space or from our various destinations - is the focus of the book. But - the reason for that focus seems more economic than environmental. There are myriad explanations throughout on the relative efficiency of newer (or less explored) travel options, but not many comments on the lessened environmental impact. And, in a staggering sense of cross-purpose, please note the many casual suggestions about mining the moon and Mars - although not, he does allow, if there is native life.
This juxtaposition was the only real sour note in the book, which was ultimately an entertaining romp through the technologies and theories which will get us into space.