Deep Space Probes: To the Outer Solar System and Beyond

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Springer Science & Business Media, Aug 31, 2006 - Technology & Engineering - 242 pages
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The Space Age is nearly 50 years old but exploration of the outer planets and beyond has only just begun. Deep-Space Probes Second Edition draws on the latest research to explain why we should explore beyond the edge of the Solar System and how we can build highly sophisticated robot spacecraft to make the journey. Many technical problems remain to be solved, among them propulsion systems to permit far higher velocities, and technologies to build vehicles a fraction of the size of today’s spacecraft.

Beyond the range of effective radio control, robot vehicles for exploring deep space will need to be intelligent, ‘thinking’ craft – able to make vital decisions entirely on their own. Gregory Matloff also looks at the possibility for human travel into interstellar space, and some of the immense problems that such journeys would entail.

This second edition includes an entirely new chapter on holographic message plaques for future interstellar probes – a NASA-funded project.

 

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Contents

Motivations for deepspace travel
1
The realms of space
13
Tomorrows targets
25
Space propulsion today
37
The incredible shrinking spaceprobe
61
The nuclear option
71
21st century staright
91
On the technological horizon
109
Exotic possibilities
125
Of stars planets and life
141
Life between the stars
155
Conscious spacecraft
167
14
177
Afterword
223
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

GREGORY L. MATLOFF is an adjunct professor of astronomy and physics at City University of New York and New School University. He has taught astronomy to young people in both the classroom and the field, and is the author of several books on practical astronomy, including Telescope Power (Wiley).

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