Posted on Friday, August 29, 2014
By Kadri

Deep Space Propulsion

A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight

by K.F. Long

As a fan of science fiction movies and series such as Star Trek and Star Wars this book was a fabulous look into the real technology that is or isn’t possible.

„Deep Space Propulsion“ guides the reader through a myriad of different technologies that someday might be used to reach the stars, with short stops on the history of aviation and an introduction to jet engines, which one might think not too relevant for the topic of deep space propulsion, but it does make sense to have it in a book that introduces complex futuristic technology, and it would be sad if the reader wouldn’t have a grasp on how do airplanes stay in the air.

In addition to the different propulsion systems – solar sails and nuclear fusion for example, the book also looks into where and why should deep space missions in the future go, and also a look back at the history of the past fifty years and what kind of missions have been sent out already, what type of propulsion those used and where are they heading.

With the country that sent the first people to the Moon not having independent access to send astronauts even to the low-earth orbit, one might get pessimistic about other countries’ motivations and whether anyone is ever going to be able to walk on Mars. However this book gives a positive outlook at the same time not being naïve, but rather pointing out the difficulties and necessary energy required to reach the stars.

In general this book is a great book for getting acquainted with many topics – deep space propulsion methods and proposed spacecraft designs being just some of them, but history of deep space missions and the background of why, where and how to go about exploring deep space give the book some necessary depth and humanity so that it doesn't end up being just a catalog of high-tech possibilities.

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