We give special thanks to Steve Durst of Space Age Publishing for his advice and generous support in the preparation of this publication, and to Paul DiMare, our illustrator, whose artistry is truly unique and inspirational. We sincerely appreciate the advice, assistance, and vision provided by the following: (at NASA) Chris Culbert, Tom Simon, Sue Wentworth, David McKay, Carl Allen, Kriss Kennedy, Wendell Mendell, Doug Cooke, Larry Kuznetz, Simon "Pete" Worden, Larry Kellogg, and Paul Lowman, and (at 0ceaneering) Mark Gittleman, Kent Copeland, Andrew Curtis, James Galbraith, and Frank Sager. Many thanks also to Manny Pimenta, David Livingstone, Jim Benson, Peter Kokh, Boris Fritz, Tom Matula, Dennis Laurie, and Phil Harris.

Many leaders and visionaries in the field of space research have contributed to our book through personal communications or through their work with scientific organizations, conferences and publications. At the university level we wish to recognize the following leaders in space research and innovation: Professors John Logsdon of George Washington University, Paul Spudis of Johns Hopkins University, Haym Benaroya of Rutgers, N.M. Komerath of Georgia Institute of Technology, David Akin of the University of Maryland, Larry Bell, Alex Ignatiev, and David Criswell of the University of Houston, John Lewis, Ron Greeley and Phil Sadler of the University of Arizona, Mike Duke of Colorado School of Mines, William "Red" Whittaker of Carnegie Mellon, Gerald Kulsinski, University of Wisconsin, Eligar Sadeh, University of North Dakota, Graham Dorrington, Queen Mary's College, London, Bruce Lusignan of Stanford, Ed Crawley and Dava Neuman of MIT, Harvey Wichman of Claremont Graduate School, Tom Shih of Iowa State University, George Morganthaler at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Sally Ride and Michael Wiskerchen of the University of California at San Diego, and Michael Gruntman, Firdaus Udwadia, Robert Brodsky, Darryl Judge, Doug Noble, and Marc Schiler at the University of Southern California (USC).

At the policy level, President Bush presented a bold plan for the United States to establish settlements on the Moon ("Moon, Mars and Beyond'') and NASA administrator Michael Griffin is aligning NASA's resources and efforts to fulfill that vision. John Marburger, the White House director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), has stated the goal of bringing the solar system within humankind's economic sphere of influence. Our work has been influenced by the United States' presidential commissions, including the Stafford Synthesis Group, which proposed concepts for lunar return, the more recent Gehman commission which studied the safety of the national space transportation system, and the Aldridge commission, which recommended bold new approaches for NASA's return to the Moon.

We wish to note the works of the statesman and scholar Prof. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the president of India, who has articulated the positive role of space activities in the advancement of humankind. We also recognize Prof. U.R. Rao, Narendra Bhandari and Hemant Dave of the Indian space program, Bernard Foing of ESA, Ouyang Ziyuan of the Chinese space program, Kohtaro Matsumoto and Hitoshi Mizutani of the Japanese space program, Viacheslav "Slava" Ivashkin of Russia, and Jesus Raygoza of the emerging Mexican space program. Sir Arthur Clarke continues to offer creative visions and fresh concepts, and Apollo astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Harrison Schmitt, and John Young are active proponents of lunar exploration and development.

Corporations such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman,Loral and Oceaneering Space Systems are engineering leaders in the space systems arena and Alenia Spazio, Deutche Aerospace, Daimler, EADS, BAE, and Marconi should also be mentioned. Corporations such as Bechtel, Fluor, Jacobs, Parsons, Halliburton, Caterpillar, and Shimizu, with experience in large infrastructure development projects, have long had an interest in extraterrestrial economic activity. In the USA, the Aerospace Corp. plays a unique role in evaluating competing concepts and certifying complex space projects. Equally important, space entrepreneurs who are creating new companies, such as SpaceDev, Bigelow Aerospace, Rocketplane Kistler, SpaceX, Virgin Intergalactic, and many others, are blazing a trail for the future through their pioneering efforts in commercializing space transportation.

We recognize the following professional organizations, societies, and foundations, which have been a source of knowledge and ideas for our book: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Astronautical Society, International Aerospace Federation, International Space University, British Interplanetary Society, International Lunar Exploration Working Group, Space Resources Roundtable, National Space Society, Planetary Society, Mars Society, Moon Society, Space Tourism Society, Space Studies Institute, SETI Institute, Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture, National Space Foundation, Ansari-X Prize Foundation, Sir Arthur Clarke Foundation, and Heinlein Foundation.

Finally, we extend sincere thanks to Clive Horwood, Mike Shayler, and Neil Shuttlewood for their expertise and patience in the preparation of the manuscript, and to Sijia Schrunk and Catherine Girardey Thangavelu.

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