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The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps [Paperback]

Marshall T. Savage
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 10 1994 0316771635 978-0316771634 0
Presenting a step-by-step plan for exploring and colonizing space, a practical, coherent, yet visionary blueprint combines cutting-edge science, technological sophistication, and fact-based speculation for building self-contained environments in space, colonizing Mars, and much more.

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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.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
By James
Review By E.J. Wilson
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 Energy
o Food
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
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty interesting book May 22 2011
This is a great book for just about anyone, engineer or otherwise. Mr. Savage puts forward a number of extremely interesting ideas - some of which are, yes, more far-fetched than others, but he makes a number of good points and has over 700 references listed, so it's not exactly science fiction. I'm still not quite sure what to make of how possible many of his ideas are, but it's a great read and I enjoyed it as such.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  53 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The big, long view. Nov. 22 1999
By Finlay McWalter - Published on Amazon.com
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
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Space Colonization IS Possible Sept. 29 2001
By RICHARD L CREWS - Published on Amazon.com
This is a deeply inspiring book. Marshall Savage describes a series of steps to colonize our Milky Way Galaxy but also, at the same time, to clean up the Earth's ecosystems and feed (and bring energy resources to) the Earth's poor. The first step is "Aquarius" which involves building floating colonies on the tropical oceans -- colonies that use Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) to get enormous supplies of non-polluting, self-renewing electrical energy from the coldness of the ocean depths. In addition, this process raises huge quantities of nutrient-rich deep ocean water to the surface where (after the energy is extracted) it can be used for mariculture (ocean fish farming) to produce a variety of nutritious fish and sea vegetables.
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.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty in the Dark.... Jan. 23 2000
By Mr Nathan S Rogers - Published on Amazon.com
Strange thing about this book- you are almost compelled to go out and form your own business exploiting the ideas contained within it. Of course, some of the ideas simply will not be done, such as the giant Earth based electromagnetic catapult for cargo transfer to orbit, but the ideas are so well presented that you know they COULD be done if the money and the will could be found. (The Lunar version of this catapult certainly could be done...) One of the most useful aspects of this book is the enormous list of references that one can look up, they give even the most obscure concepts a great deal of credibility. Marshall Savages most effective contribution to the study of space colonisation though, is that the homes one creates OUT THERE can be beautiful and functional at the same time. We don't have to live in Tuna Cans or Death Stars, we can create living breathing ecospheres that would tear your heart out to leave. A remarkable book. Please buy it. It deserves all the awards available!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most noble purpose Dec 14 1999
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Is it fiction or documentary? A dream or a vision of greatness? In my opinion it beats hell out of reading our current headlines. It is a step by step plan that builds much like my old organic chemistry classes did, that is it all seems so clear as long as you don't skip any steps. Extremely interesting, but also very entertaining. About 50 pages into this book I began wishing the author could be given the authority (and the money) to proceed. I will be sending copies to my best friends.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is going to blow your socks off!!! Feb. 10 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
When I bought this book, I had no idea what I was in for. Savage explains detail to detail about the construction of floating ocean cities, with unlimited power from the oceans. These islands might save Earth in the future. He describes a space launch system that can be much faster and cheaper than current launch systems. He makes the colonization of space very easy, using materials from the Asteroids and the Moon, to support a population of 7.5 quadrillion. This is not science fiction. Everything stated in this book has been tested in the laboratory. Order this NOW!!!!
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