Content

FOREWORD xi

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii

INTRODUCTION: CITIZENS OF THE COSMOS 1

Further Reading 5

CHAPTER 1: THE OLD FRONTIER 9

Paleolithic Migrations 10

Neolithic and Bronze Age Migrants 11

Historical Migrations 12

Further Reading 15

CHAPTER 2: THE NEW FRONTIER 17

The Moon as a Habitat 18

Living Among the Near-Earth Objects 20

The Lure of Mars 22

Settling the Outer Solar System 24

Interstellar Environments 25

Further Reading 26

CHAPTER 3: THE ROCKET AND ITS LIMITS 29

Rocket Fundamentals 33

Rocket Varieties 36

Electric Rockets 36

Nuclear-Thermal and Solar-Thermal Rockets 37

Rocket Futures 38

Further Reading 38

CHAPTER 4: THE FIRST "GREEN" SPACE TECHNOLOGIES 41

Aeroassisted Atmospheric Reentry 42

Planetary Gravity Assists 44

Further Reading 47

CHAPTER 5: PROBES TO THE PLANETS: WHERE WE'VE BEEN ON

OUR JOURNEY 51

Robots to the Moon! 52

The Lure of Our Sister Planet 54

Blistering Mercury 55

Tantalizing Mars 56

Distant Giants 60

Small Worlds 63

Further Reading 65

CHAPTER 6: PROBES TO THE STARS: CONCEPT STUDIES 67

Interstellar H-Bombs 69

A Sanitized Orion 70

Some WonderfUl Improbabilities 72

TAU: NASA's First Interstellar Probe Study 73

Star Sailing 74

Further Reading 77

CHAPTER 7: BREAKING OUT INTO SPACE: VISIONARY FUTURES 79

Cylinder Cities 81

Power for the Earth 83

Beyond the Space Cylinders 85

Life in the Space Cities 86

Further Reading 88

CHAPTER 8: THINKING INTERSTELLAR 91

Earthly and Understandable Units of Measure 92

Distance in the Solar System and Beyond 93 NASA's Interstellar Initiative and the Interstellar

Probe Mission 96

Further Reading 102

CHAPTER 9: TECHNOLOGICAL READINESS 105

Technology Readiness Levels 107 TRL-1: Basic Principles Observed and Reported 107 TRL-2: Basic Principles Observed and Reported 108

TRL-3: Analytical and Experimental Critical Function and/or Characteristic Proof of Concept 109

TRL-4: Component and/or Breadboard

Validation in a Laboratory Environment 110

TRL-5: Component and/or Breadboard

Validation in a Relevant Environment 111

TRL-6: System or Subsystem Model or Prototype Demonstration in a Relevant Environment (Ground or Space) 112

TRL-7: System Prototype Demonstration in a

Space Environment 115

TRL-8: Actual System Completed and "Flight Qualified" Through Test and Demonstration (Ground or Space) 116

Conclusion 116

Further Reading 116

CHAPTER 10: SPACE BRAKES ("LIVING OFF THE LAND" BY USING A

PLANETARY ATMOSPHERE) 119

Aeroentry 120

Aerobraking 121

Aerocapture 123 Aerocapture Application to Solar-System

Resource Surveys 126

Some Aerocapture Issues 127

Aerogravity Assist 128

Further Reading 128

CHAPTER 11: THE ION TRAIL 131

Ion Drive History 132

Electric-Propulsion Fundamentals 133

Initial Interplanetary Application of Ion Propulsion 135 Possible Ion Propulsion Technology Application to

Solar-System Development 137

Further Reading 138

CHAPTER 12: THE ORBITAL STEAM LOCOMOTIVE 141

Solar-Thermal Rocket Fundamentals 142

Near-Term Application of Solar-Thermal Rockets 144

Possible Application of Solar-Thermal Technology to Solar-System Development 146

Further Reading 146

CHAPTER 13: SKY CLIPPERS 149

Photon Sailing History 150

Solar Sailing Fundamentals 151

Current Sail Technology 153

Missions for Near-Term Solar Photon Sails 156

Near-Future Solar-Sail Development Possibilities 158

Solar-Photon Sails and Space Development 159

Further Reading 159

CHAPTER 14: ART OR SCIENCE? 161

The Message Plaques 162

The Pioneer Plaques 162

The Voyager Plaques 164

A Future Message Plaque Possibility: Holography 165

Further Reading 167

CHAPTER 15: SPACE BEANSTALKS 169

Electrodynamic Tethers: Tapping a Planet's

Magnetic Field for Power and Propulsion 170

Tethers for Propulsion and Power at Jupiter 176 Momentum Exchange Electrodynamic Reboost

(MXER) Tethers 179

Further Reading 183

CHAPTER 16: CHEMICAL PROPULSION FOR SPACE EXPLORATION:

GOOD FOR YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW 185

The Moon: A Refueling Depot for Deep-Space

Exploration 187 Mars: The Red Planet May Provide Fuel for

Round Trip Travel to Earth 188 Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune: Our

Next Stops 189 Asteroids and Comets: Abundant and Dispersed

Gas Stations 190

CHAPTER 17: HUMAN EXPLORATION 193

Aerocapture 195

Viii

Solar-Electric Propulsion 196

Solar-Thermal Propulsion 197

Solar Sails 199

Space Tethers 200

CHAPTER 18: DEFENDING THE EARTH 203

Nuclear Impact-Threat Mitigation 205

Using Space Resources to Mitigate the Threat 206

Further Reading 208

CHAPTER 19: SPACE MINERS 211

Possible Near-Earth Resource Locations 212

Preliminary Exploration 215

Mining the Atens 215

Tapping More Distant Space Mines 217

Further Reading 217

CHAPTER 20: SOME EXOTIC POSSIBILITIES 219

Plasma Sails 220

Magnetic Propulsion 222

Antimatter Propulsion 222

Breakthrough Propulsion Physics 225

Replacing the Rocket: Antigravity 226

Replacing the Rocket: Thrust Machines 226 Tapping ZPE and Getting Something for Nothing 227

Hyperspace Shortcuts 227

Instant Earths 228

The Red-Eye Special 229

Further Reading 229

CHAPTER 21: SIGHTS ON CENTAURUS 233

The First Starships 234

The Slow Boat to the Stars 235

Fast Ships 237

Spreading Through the Galaxy 238

Further Reading 239

AFTERWORD 241

INDEX 243

WO^D

Two scientists and an artist have collaborated to produce this book, which is both scientifically authoritative and artistically inspiring. Les Johnson, a physicist by education, managed in-space propulsion research for about a decade at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and is now the manager of that Center's space science programs and projects office. Dr Gregory Matloff, a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, has published many technical papers and two books on these topics and has consulted for NASA. C Bangs has shown her space-related art in many international settings; her work enlightens the visionary drive in humanity towards cosmic exploration.

As well as qualifying as an instruction manual for scientists and engineers, this book should appeal to far-sighted minds who feel that the new millennium will hopefully see the expansion of humanity beyond the edges of the solar system. It is hoped that this book will inspire astronomical researchers currently seeking Earth-like worlds circling nearby stars. In centuries to come, these worlds may well serve as new homes for humanity.

Although not science fiction, this is a visionary book. Already, researchers in the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) community have greatly expanded their search for alien radio transmissions. The time may well come when deep-space exploration and SETI will join forces to permit humanity to join a wider galactic community.

Dr Claudio Maccone

Co-Vice-Chair, SETI Permanent Study Group, International Academy of Astronautics

Many people contributed to the research described in this book. The cited technical and popular references outline their efforts.

Artist C Bangs collaged digital photographs, created and scanned her drawings and internet imagery to produce cover and chapter frontispiece art. All planetary and spacecraft images are from NASA websites; all star fields and galactic images are from the Hubble Space Telescope websites.

The image of the Conestoga Wagon collaged into the Chapter 1 frontispiece is used with the courtesy of the Detroit Michigan Historical Museum.

A photograph of a steam locomotive is incorporated in the Chapter 12 frontispiece. We thank Dipl.-Ing. Tobias B. Kohler of Graz, Austria, for his permission to use this image.

The frontispieces for Chapters 4 and 11 are derived from an aerocapture poster produced by the In-Space Propulsion Research Group at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. C Bangs participated in the creation of this poster during her summer 2004 tenure as a NASA Faculty Fellow.

During the summer of 2003, C Bangs participated in the creation of another In-Space Propulsion Research Group poster project at NASA Marshall that combines elements of ancient planetary mythology and modern space technology. This poster is used as the frontispiece for Chapter 21.

In 2001, C Bangs was funded by NASA Marshall to create the prototype Rainbow Holographic interstellar message plaque described in Chapter 14. Some of the six multiplexed two- and three-dimensional images on that plaque are incorporated in that chapter's frontispiece.

The poetry and folksong segments used to introduce each chapter come from several sources. These include Louis Untermeyer, A Treasury of Great Poems, Simon & Schuster, New York (1942) and Walt Whitman, Leaves of

Grass, ed. E. Holloway, International Collectors Library, Garden City, New York (Doubleday copyright 1926)

We are also grateful to our colleague Dr Claudio Maccone for consenting to write the Foreword to this volume. The efforts of our publisher, Clive Horwood, are also appreciated, as are the contributions of the editorial staff of Praxis and Copernicus Publishing Companies. Special thanks go to Praxis editors Arthur Foulser and Alex Whyte and to Harry Blom and Christopher Coughlin of the New York Springer office.

Discussions with Paul Farrell and Paul Gilster are also gratefully acknowledged. The authors have cross-checked the draft manuscript many times in an effort to minimize errors and we take full responsibility for any errors that may have escaped this process.

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