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3.0 out of 5 stars A touch preachy, speculative and stodgy, Jan. 13 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization (Paperback)
Robert Zubrin is obviously dissatisfied with the state of affairs with NASA. He complains about the lack of funding for certain programs and the lack of direction from the top brass. He makes his point but he should have cut it short.
The author seems to overlook potential pitfalls in his ideas. On using nuclear fusion for propulsion, Zubrin states that exhaust speed could reach 5 percent lightspeed, therefore Alpha Centauri could be reached in 86 years. This assumes that extra time for acceleration is negligible. For acceleration time to be negligible, the power involved would be well beyond what current research in fusion power suggests is reasonable. This oversight makes be doubt the feasibility of his much wilder proposals.
I appreciate technical details but Zubrin uses a pedantic style of writing more suitable for a textbook than a leisurely read. Zubrin's previous work, The Case for Mars, was never so tedious.
However, Zubrin does a good job on explaining many principles and concepts that would be of great interest to the space enthusiast--mainly on how to best exploit the solar system's resources while achieving inspirational goals for humanity. He also gives a concise overview of the debate on extraterrestrial intelligence an their detection.
I do recommend this book for space enthusiasts, but they should take it with a grain of salt.
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