‘Spacefarers’ predicts how space colonization will happen

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 08:11 in Astronomy & Space

SpacefarersChristopher WanjekHarvard Univ., $29.95 By 20th century expectations, we are way behind schedule on colonizing the solar system. After the Apollo moon landings, some scientists and NASA officials envisioned launching astronauts to Mars in the 1980s and building cities in space to be habitable by the 2000s. But the only humans in space today are a few astronauts in a lone space station orbiting Earth. That may soon change, says science writer Christopher Wanjek. China is preparing to send crewed missions to the moon by the 2030s. SpaceX founder Elon Musk hopes to take people to the Red Planet, while Bigelow Aerospace is drawing up plans for Earth-orbiting hotels. Increasing competition for the geopolitical power and profits promised by space travel (SN: 12/21/19 & 1/4/20, p. 31) may finally get astronauts back to the moon and beyond, Wanjek says. In Spacefarers, he explores how this 21st century space race could play out. Drawing on the science...

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