MOON RUSH: The New Space RaceLEONARD DAVID Book Number: 88280 Product format: Hardback
Is space fever a thing of the past? For NASA scientists and a few wealthy enthusiasts, the crusading space culture of the 1960s never went away, and the game is afoot again in the 21st century. Leonard David has been a space journalist for 50 years and he believes that we shall soon be returning to the moon, and staying for longer. As short-term interests destroy the earth's biosphere, the dream of some entrepreneurs is to create a new sustainable and co-operative environment. The moon's available resources include water and some exceptional spaces on the lunar surface to set up operations. Shackleton Crater at the moon's south pole offers the best location for an infra-red telescope. Discussion of the legal implications of divvying up the moon has already begun as governments and private enterprise have started to realise that they need to stake a claim. Above all, the project of a human journey to Mars has made ownership of the moon an urgent business. The success of Project Apollo was due to its technology base, its teams of dedicated engineers and the commitment of the White House, all driven by the race with the Russians who put Yuri Gagarin into space in 1961. In the current climate a similar effort would mean changes in educational priorities and America's risk-averse political mood. Extending a human presence to the moon would enable eventual settlement and ultimately finding answers to the big scientific questions about the history of the earth, the solar system and the universe. Everything to play for, then. 222pp, time line, black and white and colour photos. Remainder mark.
Published price: $26
Bibliophile price: £13.00