Designs on Space: Blueprints for 21st Century Space Exploration

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Simon and Schuster, 2000 - Science - 138 pages
With the turn of the century upon us, it's fair to ask, "Where are we going?" The answer, in a word, is up -- up from the Earth's gravity well and out into that playground, work site, and frontier otherwise known as outer space. "Designs on Space" is the introduction to the soon-to-be-implemented, cutting-edge machinery that will get us there: a new generation of space probes and rockets that will hurl us into the next Space Age, that of the twenty-first century.

In this graphically rich handbook of near-term space exploration, Richard Wagner, former editor of "Ad Astra" and coauthor of "The Case for Mars," and designer Howard Cook serve up a ragout of intriguing space missions that illustrate "the art of discovery and the craft of exploration" that lie at the heart of humanity's drive into space. Their sketches of our next steps into the high frontier range from the on-orbit operations of the International Space Station to scientific exploration at the farthest reaches of our solar system. They describe and detail the contraptions, gizmos, gadgets, and contrivances that will serve as our homes in near space and our senses in the distant reaches of space. Along the way, they offer previews of a new generation of launch vehicles whose aim is to open space to paying passengers; of spacecraft bound for comets, asteroids, Mars, and beyond that will continue our wanderings through our solar neighborhood; and of the instruments that will carry on our ongoing, ever-intriguing search for life beyond Earth.

Clearly presenting each mission's rationale and the clever engineering that goes into solving the problems mission designers face, "Designs on Space" provides a remarkable andmesmerizing sneak preview of space voyages in the twenty-first century.


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About the author (2000)

Richard Wagner is a freelance writer who coauthored, with Robert Zubrin, The Case for Mars and has served as editor of Ad Astra, a magazine of space exploration and development. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with his wife and three daughters.

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