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The traveler's guide to space : for one-way settlers and round-trip tourists
2017
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Author Notes
Neil F. Comins is professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Maine. His books include Discovering the Universe , tenth edition (2014), What If the Earth Had Two Moons? (2010), Heavenly Errors: Misconceptions About the Real Nature of the Universe (Columbia, 2003), and What If the Moon Didn't Exist? (1993).
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CHOICE Review
To date, seven people have traveled as space tourists to the International Space Station at the cost of $20-40 million per trip. Due to the commercial success of companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic and given that the travel price may become significantly lower, there has been increasing interest in space tourism. Comins (physics and astronomy, Univ. of Maine) is a former NASA scientist who considers all aspects of space flight travel, as well as the different types of space experiences, which range from sub-orbital flights to orbiting spacecraft to travel to the moon or Mars. The author describes the physical and psychological exams people preparing for a trip need. Much of the material on preparing for space flight and adapting to microgravity is taken from the experiences of current astronauts. The effects of microgravity, cosmic radiation, and isolation are considered in relation to long-term trips. Each chapter has a section called "Science and Science Fiction," in which the author examines specific claims in light of scientific facts. Numerous halftone photographs illustrate elements of space travel and locations in space. Though the premise is interesting, most of this material is easily found in other works. Summing Up: Recommended. With the caveat above. All readers. --John Z. Kiss, UNC-Greensboro
Booklist Review
Physicist Comins (What If the Earth Had Two Moons?, 2010) takes on the roles of travel agent and tour guide in this guidebook for spaceflight. Beginning with a primer on our solar system and its many different travel options, Comins then digs into the preparations and training needed to survive short and long stints away from Earth, whatever the destination. Whether on a quick suborbital jaunt or a long-term expedition to an asteroid or Mars, dealing with the physical and psychological effects of gravity, group dynamics, cosmic radiation, teeth vibration, blood flow, and other unexpected elements is key to surviving the harsh and unforgiving conditions of spaceflight. Plentiful pictures and diagrams supplement the narrative, which includes Fodor's-esque profiles of different celestial destinations and ends by envisioning the prospect of colonizing Mars. Along with Mark Thompson's A Space Traveler's Guide to the Solar System (2016), this makes an excellent primer for anyone, especially astronomy enthusiasts and budding astronauts, who can't afford a ticket to space and wish to visit in spirit.--Comello, Chad Copyright 2017 Booklist
Summary
If you have ever wondered about space travel, now you have the opportunity to understand it more fully than ever before. Traveling into space and even emigrating to nearby worlds may soon become part of the human experience. Scientists, engineers, and investors are working hard to make space tourism and colonization a reality. As astronauts can attest, extraterrestrial travel is incomparably thrilling. To make the most of the experience requires serious physical and mental adaptations in virtually every aspect of life, from eating to intimacy. Everyone who goes into space sees Earth and life on it from a profoundly different perspective than they had before liftoff.

Astronomer and former NASA/ASEE scientist Neil F. Comins has written the go-to book for anyone interested in space exploration. He describes the wonders that travelers will encounter--weightlessness, unparalleled views of Earth and the cosmos, and the opportunity to walk on another world--as well as the dangers: radiation, projectiles, unbreathable atmospheres, and potential equipment failures. He also provides insights into specific trips to destinations including suborbital flights, space stations, the Moon, asteroids, comets, and Mars--the top candidate for colonization. Although many challenges are technical, Comins outlines them in clear language for all readers. He synthesizes key issues and cutting-edge research in astronomy, physics, biology, psychology, and sociology to create a complete manual for the ultimate voyage.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. vii
Part IPreparing for Space
1Science and the Solar System over Easyp. 3
2Brief Descriptions of Journeys Through Spacep. 26
3Preparing for Your Tripp. 42
4Training for Space Travelp. 48
Part IIAdjusting to Space
5Launch!p. 63
6Adjustments During the First Few Daysp. 68
7Long-Term Physical Adjustments to Spacep. 74
8Getting Along in Space: Psychological and Sociological Aspects of Space Travelp. 107
Part IIIMaking the Most of Experiences in Space
9Experiences by Destinationp. 145
Part IVHome! Sweet? Home?
10Emigrating to Mars or Returning to Earthp. 233
Appendix: Powers of Tenp. 253
Notesp. 255
Bibliographyp. 259
Indexp. 275
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