Humanity has always looked to the stars, but it hasnít been until relatively recently that we have managed to travel into space. Carolyn Collins Petersen takes us on a journey from the first space pioneers and their work, through the First World Warled technological advances in rocketry that formed the basis for the Space Age, to the increasing corporate interest in space. This detailed examination of our steps into space is viewed from our potential future there ñ on Mars to be exact ñ and considers how we will reach that point.??The author concludes with our current advances and our immediate ambitions in space exploration. The future and its scientific possibilities are enthralling: who will be the first to step on Mars? Will matter/antimatter annihilations take us to the Kuiper Belt, or will it be ion propulsion? What is the Alcubierre Warp Drive? Will it take us to the stars?
Science writer Petersen sets out to answer whether humankind is capable of building a "spacefaring civilization" in this illuminating collection of essays. Covering as only as much science as necessary, this theme-driven chronology can be appreciated by readers of all levels. From the first kites in ancient China, to the refinement of rocketry during WWI and WWII, to NASA and myriad space-age discoveries, Petersen keeps a global perspective on the scientific advancement that led to the current era of space-based astronomy. Smartly condensing complicated policy and history into digestible summaries, Petersen educates her audience about matters such as the process of becoming an astronaut in different countries. Readers also get a taste of missions to come and of how a multiplanetary civilization could change space law, policy, and private industry standards in fascinating ways. Speculating on reaching Mars, Petersen believes it will happen with the help of private industry companies such as SpaceX. Living on Mars, meanwhile, would be "like living on a submarine, but with windows to a new world." This well-researched volume will surely be a handy reference for space fans and professionals alike.