The Future of Human Space Exploration

Author: Giovanni Bignami
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137526580
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For several decades it has been widely accepted that human space exploration is the exclusive domain of government agencies. The cost of performing such missions, estimated in multiple reports to amount to hundreds of billions dollars over decades, was far beyond what private entities could afford. That arrangement seems to be changing. Buoyed by the success of its program to develop commercial cargo capabilities to support the International Space Station, NASA is becoming increasingly open to working with the private sector in its human space exploration plans. The new private-public partnership will make 'planet hopping' feasible. This book analyses the move towards planet hopping, which sees human outposts moving across the planetary dimensions, from the Moon to Near-Earth Asteroids and Mars. It critically assesses the intention to exploit space resources and how successful these missions will be for humanity. This insightful and accessible book will be of great interest to scholars and students of space policy and politics, international studies, and science and technology studies.

Mankind Beyond Earth

Author: Claude A. Piantadosi
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231531036
Format: PDF
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Seeking to reenergize Americans’ passion for the space program, the value of further exploration of the Moon, and the importance of human beings on the final frontier, Claude A. Piantadosi presents a rich history of American space exploration and its major achievements. He emphasizes the importance of reclaiming national command of our manned program and continuing our unmanned space missions, and he stresses the many adventures that still await us in the unfolding universe. Acknowledging space exploration’s practical and financial obstacles, Piantadosi challenges us to revitalize American leadership in space exploration in order to reap its scientific bounty. Piantadosi explains why space exploration, a captivating story of ambition, invention, and discovery, is also increasingly difficult and why space experts always seem to disagree. He argues that the future of the space program requires merging the practicalities of exploration with the constraints of human biology. Space science deals with the unknown, and the margin (and budget) for error is small. Lethal near-vacuum conditions, deadly cosmic radiation, microgravity, vast distances, and highly scattered resources remain immense physical problems. To forge ahead, America needs to develop affordable space transportation and flexible exploration strategies based in sound science. Piantadosi closes with suggestions for accomplishing these goals, combining his healthy skepticism as a scientist with an unshakable belief in space’s untapped—and wholly worthwhile—potential.

Mars Direct

Author: Robert Zubrin
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101617861
Format: PDF, Mobi
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“Bob Zubrin really, nearly alone, changed our thinking on this issue.” —Carl Sagan, The Denver Post If you ever daydream about space travel and human space flight—or hope to one day rove the Red Planet alongside Curiosity—then MARS DIRECT will teach you how we can get there The human race is at a crossroads. In the coming decades, we will make decisions regarding our human spaceflight program that will lead to one of two familiar futures: the open universe of Star Trek, where we allow ourselves the opportunity to spread our wings and attempt to flourish as an interplanetary species—or the closed, dystopian, and ultimately self-destructive world of Soylent Green, constantly at war with one another over humanity’s “limited” resources. If we plan to survive ourselves and one day travel to the stars, the human race’s next stepping-stone must be a manned mission to and the eventual colonization of Mars. In this four-part e-special, Mars Society founder Dr. Robert Zubrin details the challenges of a manned Earth-to-Mars mission. Challenges which, according to Zubrin, we are technologically more prepared to overcome than the obstacles of the missions to the moon of the sixties and seventies. Dr. Zubrin’s relatively simple plan, called Mars Direct, could feasibly have humans on the surface of Mars within a decade. Zubrin also discusses the current predicament of NASA, the promise of privatized space flight from companies like SpaceX, and the larger implication behind the absolute necessity to open the final frontier and transform from a planetary society into an interplanetary society. Our future as a species requires us to take baby steps away from the cradle that is planet Earth or, ultimately, perish here.

Pathways to Exploration

Author: United States. Congress
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 9781977651174
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Pathways to exploration : a review of the future of human space exploration : hearing before the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, second session, June 25, 2014.

The Future of Human Space Exploration

Author: Priscilla M. Adams
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Docs
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"Over the past 52 years, the world has progressed from the first man in space, to landing on the moon, to permanent human presence on manned space stations. Mankind is now poised to explore even farther. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze whether international cooperation or competition is more in the U.S. interest from the perspective of political, technological, and cost-effectiveness criteria for returning humans to the moon, Mars or an asteroid and establishing a permanent presence. The 1960s space race between the U.S. and USSR and current cooperation on the International Space Station will provide a historical basis for comparison. Countries with major space programs will be reviewed for possible partnerships in future space endeavors. This thesis concludes that the future and next steps for human spaceflight with international partners will need to begin as a coordinated and interdependent effort at the onset with the goal of habitation on the moon."--Abstract.

The Overview Effect

Author: Frank White
Publisher: AIAA
ISBN: 9781563472602
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Using interviews with and writings by 30 astronauts and cosmonauts, Frank White shows how experiences such as circling the Earth every 90 minutes and viewing it from the moon have profoundly affected our space travelers perceptions of themselves, their world, and the future. He shows how the rest of us, who have participated imaginatively in these great adventures, have also been affected psychologically by them. He provides a powerful rationale for space exploration and settlement, describing them as the inevitable next steps in the evolution of human society and human consciousness, as the activities most likely to bring a new perspective to the problems of life on Earth. White goes on to consider the possible consequences of a human presence in space, both for the pioneers who settle there and for those who remain on Earth. He imagines how having a permanent perspective from outer space will affect our politics, our religion, our social relations, our psychology, our economics, and our hard sciences. He confronts the possibility of rebellion by a space colony and of contact with extraterrestrial beings. And, finally, he makes it clear that our fate is in our own hands, that we will shape our future in space effectively only by fashioning a new human space program, free of excessive nationalism and dedicated to the peaceful exploration of the space frontier.

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration

Author: Committee for the Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309163846
Format: PDF, Kindle
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More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human outposts, culminating in the current International Space Station (ISS). However, of the more than 500 humans who have so far ventured into space, most have gone only as far as near-Earth orbit, and none have traveled beyond the orbit of the Moon. Achieving humans' further progress into the solar system had proved far more difficult than imagined in the heady days of the Apollo missions, but the potential rewards remain substantial. During its more than 50-year history, NASA's success in human space exploration has depended on the agency's ability to effectively address a wide range of biomedical, engineering, physical science, and related obstacles--an achievement made possible by NASA's strong and productive commitments to life and physical sciences research for human space exploration, and by its use of human space exploration infrastructures for scientific discovery. The Committee for the Decadal Survey of Biological and Physical Sciences acknowledges the many achievements of NASA, which are all the more remarkable given budgetary challenges and changing directions within the agency. In the past decade, however, a consequence of those challenges has been a life and physical sciences research program that was dramatically reduced in both scale and scope, with the result that the agency is poorly positioned to take full advantage of the scientific opportunities offered by the now fully equipped and staffed ISS laboratory, or to effectively pursue the scientific research needed to support the development of advanced human exploration capabilities. Although its review has left it deeply concerned about the current state of NASA's life and physical sciences research, the Committee for the Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space is nevertheless convinced that a focused science and engineering program can achieve successes that will bring the space community, the U.S. public, and policymakers to an understanding that we are ready for the next significant phase of human space exploration. The goal of this report is to lay out steps and develop a forward-looking portfolio of research that will provide the basis for recapturing the excitement and value of human spaceflight--thereby enabling the U.S. space program to deliver on new exploration initiatives that serve the nation, excite the public, and place the United States again at the forefront of space exploration for the global good.

Pathways to Exploration

Author: National Research Council
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309305101
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The United States has publicly funded its human spaceflight program on a continuous basis for more than a half-century, through three wars and a half-dozen recessions, from the early Mercury and Gemini suborbital and Earth orbital missions, to the lunar landings, and thence to the first reusable winged crewed spaceplane that the United States operated for three decades. Today the United States is the major partner in a massive orbital facility - the International Space Station - that is becoming the focal point for the first tentative steps in commercial cargo and crewed orbital space flights. And yet, the long-term future of human spaceflight beyond this project is unclear. Pronouncements by multiple presidents of bold new ventures by Americans to the Moon, to Mars, and to an asteroid in its native orbit, have not been matched by the same commitment that accompanied President Kennedy\'s now fabled 1961 speech-namely, the substantial increase in NASA funding needed to make it happen. Are we still committed to advancing human spaceflight? What should a long-term goal be, and what does the United States need to do to achieve it? Pathways to Exploration explores the case for advancing this endeavor, drawing on the history of rationales for human spaceflight, examining the attitudes of stakeholders and the public, and carefully assessing the technical and fiscal realities. This report recommends maintaining the long-term focus on Mars as the horizon goal for human space exploration. With this goal in mind, the report considers funding levels necessary to maintain a robust tempo of execution, current research and exploration projects and the time/resources needed to continue them, and international cooperation that could contribute to the achievement of spaceflight to Mars. According to Pathways to Exploration, a successful U.S. program would require sustained national commitment and a budget that increases by more than the rate of inflation. In reviving a U.S. human exploration program capable of answering the enduring questions about humanity's destiny beyond our tiny blue planet, the nation will need to grapple with the attitudinal and fiscal realities of the nation today while staying true to a small but crucial set of fundamental principles for the conduct of exploration of the endless frontier. The recommendations of Pathways to Exploration provide a clear map toward a human spaceflight program that inspires students and citizens by furthering human exploration and discovery, while taking into account the long-term commitment necessary to achieve this goal.