If you have ever wondered about space travel, now you have the opportunity to understand it more fully than ever before. Traveling into space and even emigrating to nearby worlds may soon become part of the human experience. Scientists, engineers, and investors are working hard to make space tourism and colonization a reality. As astronauts can attest, extraterrestrial travel is incomparably thrilling. To make the most of the experience requires serious physical and mental adaptations in virtually every aspect of life, from eating to intimacy. Everyone who goes into space sees Earth and life on it from a profoundly different perspective than they had before liftoff.
Astronomer and former NASA/ASEE scientist Neil F. Comins has written the go-to book for anyone interested in space exploration. He describes the wonders that travelers will encounter-weightlessness, unparalleled views of Earth and the cosmos, and the opportunity to walk on another world-as well as the dangers: radiation, projectiles, unbreathable atmospheres, and potential equipment failures. He also provides insights into specific trips to destinations including suborbital flights, space stations, the Moon, asteroids, comets, and Mars-the top candidate for colonization. Although many challenges are technical, Comins outlines them in clear language for all readers. He synthesizes key issues and cutting-edge research in astronomy, physics, biology, psychology, and sociology to create a complete manual for the ultimate voyage.