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Download Centauri Dreams: Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration ePub

by Paul Gilster

Download Centauri Dreams: Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration ePub
  • ISBN 038700436X
  • ISBN13 978-0387004365
  • Language English
  • Author Paul Gilster
  • Publisher Copernicus; 2004 edition (October 8, 2004)
  • Pages 302
  • Formats mobi lrf doc txt
  • Category Engineering
  • Subcategory Engineering
  • Size ePub 1946 kb
  • Size Fb2 1221 kb
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 611

I wrote this book because I wanted to learn more about interstel­ lar flight. Not the Star Trek notion of tearing around the Galaxy in a huge spaceship-that was obviously beyond existing tech­ nology-but a more realistic mission. In 1989 I had videotaped Voyager 2's encounter with Neptune and watched the drama of robotic exploration over and over again. I started to wonder whether we could do something similar with Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun. Everyone seemed to agree that manned flight to the stars was out of the question, if not permanently then for the indefinitely foreseeable future. But surely we could do something with robotics. And if we could figure out a theoretical way to do it, how far were we from the actual technology that would make it happen? In other words, what was the state of our interstellar technology today, those concepts and systems that might translate into a Voyager to the stars? Finding answers meant talking to people inside and outside of NASA. I was surprised to learn that there is a large literature of interstellar flight. Nobody knows for sure how to propel a space­ craft fast enough to make the interstellar crossing within a time scale that would fit the conventional idea of a mission, but there are candidate systems that are under active investigation. Some of this effort begins with small systems that we'll use near the Earth and later hope to extend to deep space missions.

Paul Gilster’s book explores the terrain at the frontiers of hard logic and hairy thinking. Interstellar travel is now part of imagination’s landscape. Tim Radford, The Guardian, March, 2005).

Paul Gilster’s book explores the terrain at the frontiers of hard logic and hairy thinking. Hardcover: 302 pages. Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration.

I wrote this book because I wanted to learn more about interstel lar flight. Not the Star Trek notion of tearing around the Galaxy in a huge spaceship-that was obviously beyond existing tech nology-but a more realistic mission. In 1989 I had videotaped Voyager 2's encounter with Neptune and watched the drama of robotic exploration over and over again. I started to wonder whether we could do something similar with Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun.

Centauri Dreams book. Start by marking Centauri Dreams: Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

I wrote this book because I wanted to learn more about interstel­ lar flight.

Gilster, Paul, 1949-. New York : Copernicus Books. inlibrary; printdisabled; ; china.

Paul Gilster writes on technology for the News and Observer in North Carolina and lives in Raleigh. The meat of the book is a compilation of ideas for interstellar travel. Gilster goes as far as discussing wormholes, as the physi-cal equivalent of science fiction’s spacewarp. He regards science fiction as inspirational to generations of scientists, some of whom write it. I am sympathetic to the dream, but the prose style irritated me. The tone is relentlessly positive and mostly in the present tense. Laser driven ships with vast reflecting sails and fusion powered rockets (almost normal sounding by comparison) depart for Alpha Centauri, Barnard’s Star or 61 Cygni.

Gilster introduces the challenges of imagining and planning interstellar exploration by leading readers through the difficulties of reaching and exploring the nearest bright star, Alpha Centauri

Gilster introduces the challenges of imagining and planning interstellar exploration by leading readers through the difficulties of reaching and exploring the nearest bright star, Alpha Centauri. Seeded by ideas and concepts of the late Robert Forward, the narrative is framed as a learning process undertaken simultaneously by writer and reader. Although Alpha Centauri is astronomically nearby, a postulated trip by robot spacecraft, followed by manned exploration, would take 50 to 1,000 years, depending on the type of spacecraft propulsion used.

Talk about Centauri Dreams: Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration


Umge
It will be surprising to many people that the initial planning of humanity's first voyages to the stars has already begun. Those of us who grew up in the early days of the American space program, and whose vision of the future assumed that by the end of the twentieth century space flight would be commonplace and relatively easy, and who assumed that manned missions to Mars and further would be the next step within several years after the Apollo moon landings, became impatient with the slow and methodical pace of space exploration carried out in the immediate vicinity of Earth and by robotic probes sent about the Solar System- even though these missions were usually brilliantly planned and executed.

This book brings the welcome news and consolation that, even though the first interstellar mission of any kind is probably still at least several decades away, imaginative and intelligent people are already working on the theoretical basis for such future voyages, and some of the engineering problems are being addressed. So at least we don't have to wait until the rest of the solar system has been explored to get an idea of how the next colossal task will be approached. Much of this work is being done by various research agencies associated with NASA, by the European Space Agency, and even by academics and assorted dreamers.

Paul Gilster does an excellent job of explaining the current state of the planning for adventures to the closest stars, providing lucid descriptions of the work even now being done on such amazing concepts as laser-powered sails and antimatter drives. I have read a fair number of the popular scientific works intended to introduce laymen to difficult subjects (string theory, hyperinflation, etc.), and this volume is at least as clear and readable as anything I have seen by Allan Guth or Brian Greene. Besides being a primer, however, Centauri Dreams is also a fine piece of investigative reporting, since the author discusses the people who are doing this imaginative work and places their endeavors within an institutional context to show some of the bureaucratic and political hurdles that must be overcome.

Mr. Gilster also relates interstellar planning to the development of notions of interstellar travel within science fiction, showing how fictional (and often very much misguided) thought has influenced scientific thought.

Centauri Dreams is an exciting and important read. Highly recommended.
Abandoned Electrical
Centauri Dreams was a fun book for the futurist some time ago. The book enables the reader to let go into the future and think about interstellar space travel. The book is well structured and enlightening to the non-scientist and non-engineer. The technologies the author discusses are being researched but the practical applications will be years, decades, perhaps centuries, into the future for travel outside of the solar system --- even if we do now have a structured human effort to find an Earth-like planets outside of our solar system. The book has an associated blog that is fun too and has caused me to reflect upon the book from time-to-time. I recommend the book if you want to sit back and think about how your great-great grand children will cross the Milky Way Galaxy with a dash of realism and a dash of science fiction. Every great adventure begins with a map. This book is a creative map into the future of space travel.
Jox
In this book, the authors surveys the state of the art in unmanned probes to Alpha Centauri, from the gigantic Daedalus probe, to tiny,nanomechanical needle probes,which would assemble sensors and communication gear from local resources. This book, and the related blog of the same name are worthwhile reading for those who contemplate exploring the universe.
Bladebringer
One of my favorite books - read it three times.
Dianazius
A well researched book that takes a realistic look at how we might one day explore the nearest stars. And this is a very big
dream indeed. The problems with making such a mission work are daunting. But the book doesn`t dive into science fiction, at
least not much.
The book takes a realistic look at not only the possible systems that could send a probe on an interstellar mission, but at the
massive problems that must be solved. The truely mind boggling distance to the nearest star is only the most obvious of these
problems.
Foxanayn
Thanks for capturing all of this Paul and keeping the conversation alive on the web.
Molotok
Always wondering what people have in mind for the future when they can put their mind to it.
I have read Robert Forward's books and this one continues the trend of informative books on the potential for deep space probes.