Beyond Earth (Hardcover)
Our Path to a New Home in the Planets
Pantheon Books, 9780804197977, 320pp.
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
From a leading planetary scientist and an award-winning science writer, a propulsive account of the developments and initiatives that have transformed the dream of space colonization into something that may well be achievable. We are at the cusp of a golden age in space science, as increasingly more entrepreneurs--Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos--are seduced by the commercial potential of human access to space. But Beyond Earth does not offer another wide-eyed technology fantasy: instead, it is grounded not only in the human capacity for invention and the appeal of adventure but also in the bureaucratic, political, and scientific realities that present obstacles to space travel--realities that have hampered NASA's efforts ever since the Challenger disaster. In Beyond Earth, Charles Wohlforth and Amanda R.Hendrix offer groundbreaking research and argue persuasively that not Mars, but Titan--a moon of Saturn with a nitrogen atmosphere, a weather cycle, and an inexhaustible supply of cheap energy, where we will even be able to fly like birds in the minimal gravitational field--offers the most realistic and thrill-ing prospect of life without support from Earth. (With 8 pages of color illustrations)
About the Author
CHARLES WOHLFORTH is the author of more than ten previous books. He writes a column for Alaska Dispatch News, hosts a weekly interview program for public radio stations in Alaska (where he lives), and has won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Sci-ence and Technology, among many other awards. AMANDA R. HENDRIX, Ph.D., a planetary scientist, worked for twelve years at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She has been a scientific investigator on the Galileo and Lunar Reconnaissance missions, a principal investigator on NASA research and Hubble Space Telescope observing programs, and is the author of many scientific papers. As an investigator on the Cas-sini mission to Saturn, she has focused her research on the moons of Saturn.