by Carolyn Collins Petersen
In this book, Carolyn set out to answer the question: what’s involved in creating a space-faring civilization? Modern-day space exploration rests on a solid base of historical technology development, as well as law and policy, commerce, competition, education, science, art, music, and good old-fashioned human emotion. The effects of that exploration affect every person on the planet in one way or another.
Space Exploration: Past, Present, Future gives an overview of history, starting with the ancient Chinese generals who developed “fire arrows”, and follows with an executive summary of principles of flight and rocketry. The story unfolds through the history of NASA and the Soviet Union’s space agency to get to the Moon first. From there, the reader explores the modern age, where more than 75 countries have space interests and hundreds of people have flown beyond Earth.
There are many people for whom space access is a given; those born since the dawn of the space age, or who grew up with rockets flying to the Moon. For them, it has always been there, just as telephones and automobiles and airplanes are a part of the backdrop of life. For those people, this book serves as a look back at how the world has welcomed the rise of space exploration.
The book has an image section and an extensive bibliography and set of references. Once someone finishes reading Space Exploration: Past, Present, Future, they can use those resources to undertake their own, more detailed voyage into the past and future of space exploration.