St. Martin's Press
Star Trek was right — there is only one final frontier, and that is space...
Human beings are natural explorers, and nowhere is this frontier spirit stronger than in the United States of America. It almost defines the character of the US. But the Earth is running out of frontiers fast.
In Brian Clegg's The Final Frontier we discover the massive challenges that face explorers, both human and robotic, to uncover the current and future technologies that could take us out into the galaxy and take a voyage of discovery where no one has gone before… but one day someone will. In 2003, General Wesley Clark set the nation a challenge to produce the technology that would enable new pioneers to explore the galaxy. That challenge is tough — the greatest we’ve ever faced. But taking on the final frontier does not have to be a fantasy.
In a time of recession, escapism is always popular — and what greater escape from the everyday can there be than the chance of leaving Earth’s bounds and exploring the universe? With a rich popular culture heritage in science fiction movies, books and TV shows, this is a subject that entertains and informs in equal measure.
The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.
—Russian rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in a letter to an unidentified recipient (1911)
As most of us get on with our day-to-day lives, the concept of being a pioneer seems entirely alien. The closest we get to pioneering may be the choice of a different recipe for dinner, trying out that edgy new show, or being the first person from our town to visit an obscure foreign country. Yet the urge to boldly go where no one has gone before is a fundamental
"Final Frontier is an enjoyable romp across space and time, from Cyrano de Bergerac to future spacewarp-driven interstellar craft, via Verne, Wells and the possibility of colonising the Solar System. A timely reminder of what might be possible in the light of current discussions about the commercial exploitation of the Moon and asteroids."
—John Gribbin - author of In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat, Alone in the Universe and In Search of the Multiverse
“Readers will enjoy Clegg’s lively, enthusiastic account of the technical barriers to exploring the universe.” —Kirkus Reviews