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An interesting sales pitch
on April 19, 2013
In this book, Schmitt is making a strong pitch on how humans might begin a permanent entry into space. It comes across more as a sales pitch than a technical exposition, and because of that it lightly touches on many interesting topics instead of exploring them deeply. This is good in the sense that you can get to see many of the considerations that go into a space program from the motivations, the cost analysis and returns, the technological benefits, the political and law considerations, management and structure, and many other angles while still futting inside a single book. The down side of such an approach is that as a reader you get only a hint of a topic when you might be feeling hungry for more. Also there are some chapters, like the collection of emails to government representatives, that leave one feeling that the book structure is a bit random. But having said that, this is an important read and deserves contemplation.
As a note to my score, I have to admit that I'm a bit conflicted. This sort of book is needed to help people focus on the key issues related to space settlement so I want to score high. However, it's unavoidable that one would mention the concerns of the day - for example, the book was clearly influenced by the administration of George W Bush which leaves the book feeling a bit dated, and I feel that a pitch for space should be a little more timeless. Also I'm very pro-space so I suspect that this will cause me to over inflate my score. After all those adjustments I came up with what I did, although I felt I could have gone one extra star.