Synopses & Reviews
With plans to launch hotels into orbit and experiments in suspending and reanimating life for ultra-long-distance travel, private companies and entrepreneurs have outpaced NASA--which is bogged down by terrestrial concerns--as the leaders in the new space race. With accessible prose and relentless curiosity, Chris Impey reports on China's plan to launch its own space station by 2020, proves that humans could survive on Mars, and unveils cutting-edge innovations such as the space elevators poised to replace rockets at a fraction of the cost. Setting mankind's urge toward exploration in the context of all human history and space travel thus far, he shows that the present-day scientists mapping billions of Earth-like exo-planets are the descendants of the first humans to venture out of Africa. We must forge ahead, argues , because exploration is in our DNA.
"In , by far my favorite of his books to date, Chris Impey speaks of an "explorer gene" that has propelled humanity from Africa to the Moon. I suspect Impey of harboring that particular gene himself, given the enthusiasm he brings to this swashbuckling taste of the coming human presence in space. Though my own DNA may be lacking, this book prepares me to follow him into the inevitable... With hope and skill, Impey sees an optimistic future in which we finally, and permanently, break the bonds of Earth." David H. Levy, discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 and twenty-two other comets
"This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the fate of the human race and our bright future among the stars. Chris Impey shows how our efforts to expand beyond Earth are part of the same biological drive that made humans spread their habitat across the face of the Earth." Ben Bova, bestselling author and president emeritus of the National Space Society
"Chris Impey's is so much fun to read that it is hard to think of it as a major reference work on space travel--history, current status, and the wild blue yonder. But it is!" Owen Gingerich, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
"Impey's spacefaring vision really shines in this captivating tour of our deepest past and distant future. It's a marvelous book to curl up with on a starry night and let your mind roam through the halls of possibility." Diane Ackerman, author of The Human
"In , Chris Impey manages to rejuvenate that 'Space Is Our Future' feeling that pervaded human culture a half century ago. A needed reminder that, today, not enough of us are looking up, and even fewer among us are doing anything about it." Wall Street Journal
"With vivid writing that skillfully walks the line between visionary and pragmatic, Impey finds equal opportunity for both humans and robotic explorers on a journey that could not only teach us about new worlds, but "how to be better caretakers of this one."" Publishers Weekly, Starred review
"[R]ousing and compellingly readable... Impey's work will appeal to the usual space buffs as well as sci-fi fans looking for an entertaining and informative peek into the future that's also grounded in plausible science." Carl Hays
"One of the most accessible accounts of the history of rockets and space travel I have ever read... entertaining and informative." John Gribbin
"Expansive and enlightening... Impey is not only a skilled scientist who studies active galactic nuclei, he's also an adept and prolific communicator, who packs his prose with wonderful anecdotes and weird factoids... truly soars. Its concluding section...offers more plausible ideas than can be found in whole shelves of futuristic science fiction." Lee Billings
Human exploration has been an unceasing engine of technological progress, from the first homo sapiens to leave our African cradle to a future in which mankind promises to settle another world. Beyond tells the epic story of humanity leaving home and how humans will soon thrive in the vast universe beyond the earth.
A dazzling and propulsive voyage through space and time, Beyond reveals how centuries of space explorers from the earliest stargazers to today s cutting-edge researchers all draw inspiration from an innate human emotion: wanderlust. This urge to explore led us to multiply around the globe, and it can be traced in our DNA.
Today, the urge to discover manifests itself in jaw-dropping ways: plans for space elevators poised to replace rockets at a fraction of the cost; experiments in suspending and reanimating life for ultra-long-distance travel; prototypes for solar sails that coast through space on the momentum of microwaves released from the Earth. With these ventures, private companies and entrepreneurs have the potential to outpace NASA as the leaders in a new space race.
Combining expert knowledge of astronomy and avant-garde technology, Chris Impey guides us through the heady possibilities for the next century of exploration. In twenty years, a vibrant commercial space industry will be operating. In thirty years, there will be small but viable colonies on the Moon and Mars. In fifty years, mining technology will have advanced enough to harvest resources from asteroids. In a hundred years, a cohort of humans born off-Earth will come of age without ever visiting humanity s home planet. This is not the stuff of science fiction but rather the logical extension of already available technologies.
Beyond shows that space exploration is not just the domain of technocrats, but the birthright of everyone and the destiny of generations to come. To continue exploration is to ensure our survival. Outer space, a limitless unknown, awaits us.
dares to imagine a fantastic future for humans in space--and then reminds us that we're already there.
About the Author
Chris Impey is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona. In addition to his critically acclaimed books How It Began and How It Ends, he has written two astronomy textbooks and has won many teaching awards. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.