The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must|
by Robert Zubrin with Richard Wagner
The Free Press, 1996
hardcover, 328pp., illus.
By now most readers have heard of Robert Zubrin's proposal for Mars Direct: an innovative way to stage manned missions to Mars and create the framework for permanent habitation and colonization of the red planet. So why buy and read a book about it? While you may be familiar with the concept, you may not be aware of more the details, history, and rationale of the proposal. The Case for Mars provides all that and more, and leaves you hard-pressed to find a reason why not to support it.
Halfway to Anywhere: The New Business Opportunities of Space|
by G. Harry Stine
M. Evans and Company, 1996
320pp, hardcover, illus.
Within the last few years,. we have seen a number of new proposals for new launch vehicles aims solely at commercial markets. As new communications networks are established and the need for satellites to relay this traffic increases, more companies need to launch satellites and are looking for the best possible deal. Even more would do so if only the cost were lower, hence the interest in developing new, reusable launch vehicles that promise cheap access to space. G. Harry Stine looks at the history and future opportunities for reusable vehicles, specifically single-stage to orbit technology, in Halfway to Anywhere.
Impact!: The Threat of Comets and Asteroids|
by Garrit L. Verschuur
Oxford University Press, 1996
hardcover, 237pp., illus.
Books about the threat posed by asteroid and comet impacts are raining down on bookshelves like, well, a meteor shower. It's not good enough now to simply write a book about the possibility of an impact and what would happen during an impact, as there have been too many books on that subject alone. Instead, the book must go further afield in some way and set itself apart from other works. While Impact tried to do this to some degree, it doesn't quite succeed in carving a niche for itself in the asteroid and comet impact bookshelf.
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