Mars, the red planet named for the god of war, a mysterious dust-ridden place, is most like Earth in its climate and seasons. Of all the possible destinations in space to travel, Mars is the most likely for humans to reach. According to esteemed scientist Louis Friedman, it may be the only destination outside the moon to ever see human footprints. Far from diminishing our future in space, Human Spaceflight lays out a provocative future for human space travel. The noted aerospace engineer and scientist says that human space exploration will continue well into the future, but space travel by humans will stop at Mars. Instead, nanotechnology, space sails, robotics, biomolecular engineering, and artificial intelligence will provide the vehicles of the future for an exciting evolution not just of space travel but of humankind. Friedman has worked with agencies around the globe on space exploration projects to extend human presence beyond Mars and beyond the solar system. He writes that once we accept Mars as the only viable destination for humans, our space program on planet Earth can become more exciting and more relevant. Mars, he writes, will take hundreds, even thousands, of years to settle. During that time, humans and all our supporting technologies will evolve, allowing our minds to be present throughout the universe while our bodies stay home on Earth and Mars. (University of Arizona Press)
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