The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps Paperback – Aug 1994
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From Kirkus Reviews
In this boldly optimistic manifesto, Savage proclaims a master plan for the human race: to spread life throughout the galaxy. To many, space exploration seems irrelevant to Earth's real problems; but humanity may in fact have no other way to secure its long-term survival. To remain confined to Earth, Savage claims, is to court extinction, possibly within a few decades. Savage (an engineer who has established the Millennial Foundation to promote space exploration) outlines his program for transferring a significant portion of humanity off-planet. The crucial first step is to colonize the ocean surface with floating cities, quadrupling the living space available to the growing population of Earth. This allows us to reverse the degradation of the environment by shifting to the thermal energy of the deep ocean as our primary power source. At the same time, spirulina algae (already on sale in health food stores) becomes a major new food crop. The hardware for these oceanic colonies is already within practical reach: Savage provides a detailed inventory of how his floating cities would work and support themselves, with copious citations of the scientific literature. Once this move is well underway, it frees up energy and resources for the next steps. Improved space vehicles make possible orbiting space colonies, then settlements on the moon. A larger step is terraforming Mars--creating an atmosphere and a water supply for our lifeless neighbor to form a human habitat. On an even longer time scale, the race can expand into the rest of the solar system: asteroids and the moons of other planets. Ultimately, artificial habitats may completely surround the sun. With the resources of an entire solar system at our command, according to Savage, humanity can at last send out emissaries to other stars. The stuff of science fiction? Of course--but rigorously built from existing science, carefully documented, and convincingly argued. Highly recommended. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
For Paranormal Online...
One of the ten most enlightening and enjoyable books I have ever read, including the forward by Arthur C. Clark. Marshall's ultimate goal is colonizing of space, but he is realistic. He shows us, literally, step-by-step methods for solving all the roadblocks on the way to that magnificent goal.
o Living Space
o Colonizing Earth Orbit
o Colonizing the moon
o Colonizing the solar system
o Finding new homes in the stars
Marshall's mastery of all the sciences involved is mind-boggling. He is, without a doubt, beyond brilliant. Yet he uses his amazing intellectual gifts to explain the science in easily read and understood terms. Do whatever you have to in order to get your hands on this book. You will LOVE it!
The Millennial Project -- ejw
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If the title of this book didn't clue you in : this guy thinks BIG. No, make that BIIIIG!
Mr. Savage presents a complete programme of technical innovation, starting with colonies at sea and then in orbit, and proceeding to a giant, galaxy-spanning human civilisation. These elements have all been presented before, individually, in both technical and fictional literature, but this is the first place I've seen anyone draw them all together into a single, relatively coherent path.
Now, I do think it's right to be skeptical about a lot of the technical specifics Mr. Savage discusses. I don't share the faith in OTECs that he has, I really doubt his belief that humans can tolerate a 20g acceleration for any protracted period, and I think he over-estimates the willingness of most people to spend their lives in zero-g, crouching inside hollow asteroids (however nicely planted) and munching on vatgrown algae.
Whatever you think of the technical feasibility of his programme, he does present some startling ideas, amongst which I particularly loved (I'm paraphrasing) "Mars is an ecosystem in kit form ... all it needs is a catalyst to spring into life - that catalyst is humanity". Mr. Savage also makes some observations based on the truly titanic human population he foresees - trillions of people living in each of thousands of inhabited systems - he calculates (statistically) that hundreds of exceptional Mozarts, Picassos and Einsteins will simultaneously be alive. Like I said, he thinks big, and reading this made me think a little bigger too - if nothing else, that's the real value in this book.
Mr. Savage has an unerring faith in both technology and humanity. His vision of the future is one of endless growth and boundless resource, but he confines himself to the 'how' of this - the 'why' he leaves to others. Some of the reviewers expressed concerns over the "white-people-in-space" aspect that one finds in much "utopian" literature - I really can't see any concrete evidence of that here. It doesn't seem either logical or fair to suppose that a treatise as optimistic and technocratic as this need necessarily subscribe to right-wing social theories - indeed the book is rather thin on the societal implications of the massive changes Mr. Savage predicts. That said, the people depicted in the book's few colour places do all appear caucasian, albeit with a bluish tinge :)
You don't need to believe this book, but I do think you should
Using the resources (including the finances and crucial technologies) gained in "Aquarius," Savage next describes space launch systems using laser and mass-driver technologies. This step is called "Bifrost." Then he outlines how we can establish colonies in orbit (a step called "Asgard"). Then on to ecospheres on the Moon (called "Avallon"), creating an Earth-like atmosphere (or "terraforming) Mars (called "Elysium"), and so on to the processes that might be used eventually to send giant spaceships to nearby stars ("Galactia").
This exciting book spawned "The First Millennial Foundation" (now called "The Living Universe Foundation"), an organization of people working to make this future pioneering the "high frontier" of space come true for humanity.
It is well worth reading.
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