How to Build Your Own Spaceship: The Science of Personal Space Travel

( 6 )

Overview

Ladies and gentlemen, start your spaceships!

Personal space travel is no longer the stuff of science fiction. The future is here: Civilians are launching into orbit. As early as 2010 paying customers will have the opportunity to experience weightlessness, courtesy of Virgin Galactic's inaugural launch.

How to Build Your Own Spaceship takes readers on a fun and quirky trip to the forefront of commercial space travel-the latest technology, the ...

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How to Build Your Own Spaceship: The Science of Personal Space Travel

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Overview

Ladies and gentlemen, start your spaceships!

Personal space travel is no longer the stuff of science fiction. The future is here: Civilians are launching into orbit. As early as 2010 paying customers will have the opportunity to experience weightlessness, courtesy of Virgin Galactic's inaugural launch.

How to Build Your Own Spaceship takes readers on a fun and quirky trip to the forefront of commercial space travel-the latest technology, the major business players, and the personal and financial benefits that are ripe for the picking. Science-writer Piers Bizony's breadth of knowledge, quick wit, and no-nonsense explanations of the hard science in this emerging arena will satisfy even the most dedicated space fanatics. With practical advice (from picking the best jet fuel to funding your own fleet of space crafts), unbelievable space facts, and fascinating photos, Bizony's user-friendly guide to blasting off is a must-have ticket to the final frontier.

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Editorial Reviews

Justin Moyer
Even though the unwashed masses with bank accounts under nine figures may not become aeronautical big boys in the way Bizony envisions, they can at least read about the final frontier in a book that sparkles with unquenchable enthusiasm.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Hotel magnate Robert Bigelow is developing an inflatable space station called the TransHab, where, for a mere $12 million, vacationers will be able to spend four weeks. All he needs is a space buggy to get his vacationers there. In this snappy survey of present-day rocket technology and schemes, science writer Bizony (The Rivers of Mars) tells readers where the action is. Internet entrepreneurs like Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Paypal founder Elon Musk are enviously regarding outer space with cool intellect and drawing up plans for spaceships. Musk's Falcon rocket reached space successfully, and his company plans to take satellites and other payloads into space for commercial and government customers. But not only billionaires can participate in the space race: both Bigelow and NASA are dangling prizes worth tens of millions of dollars in front of aspiring space moguls to spur creation of new technologies. Bizony's book is not a how-to manual with instructions for launching a rocket from the backyard. Rather, his descriptions of fuel systems and spaceship design in accessible language could inspire science buffs to take up the challenge. Illus. (July 28)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Despite the playful title, this book is really about the emerging space tourism industry and the civilian use of outer space. Bizony (One Giant Leap: Apollo 11 Remembered) details everything a space tourism company must do to be successful. To qualify officially as an astronaut, a traveler needs to fly above 100 km (62 miles). This can be achieved through a suborbital flight, one that goes up to that level and then returns to Earth, a trip that normally takes only a few hours. Orbital spaceflight is more difficult to achieve, for it requires a craft to reach Earth's escape velocity, which is 17,500 mph. The Russians now profit from space tourism, and private industry will probably offer suborbital hops within a decade. Bizony shows which spaceship designs are best suited to space tourism; for the industry to succeed, craft and systems must be as reliable and safe as commercial aviation. VERDICT Bizony clearly explains spaceflight science for a popular audience. Taking a more optimistic outlook than Neil Comins's The Hazards of Space Travel: A Tourist's Guide, this is a good choice for armchair space buffs wanting to explore vicariously our final frontier.—Jeffrey Beall, Univ. of Colorado, Denver


—Jeffrey Beall
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452295339
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/28/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,443,984
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Piers Bizony has written about science, history, and cosmology for a wide variety of publishers. The Rivers of Mars, his critically acclaimed analysis of the life on Mars debate, was shortlisted for the NASA/Eugene M. Emme Award for Astronautical Writing.
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Table of Contents

How to Build Your Own Spaceship Preface Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: When's the Space Age Coming for the Rest of Us?

Chapter 2: That's Why They Call It "Rocket Science"

Chapter 3: Runners and Riders, Ways and Means

Chapter 4: "No Bucks, No Buck Rogers"

Chapter 5: Islands in the Sky

Chapter 6: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Chapter 7: The Red Planet—and Beyond

Epilogue Selected Bibliography

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Foxspirit

    *Whistles and walks away.*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Goldpaw

    *sits and waitd*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Chi

    Blah.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Swirl

    "Shellbreeze didnt know until she turned around while she was fleeing. Only starclan knew this was going to happen." She sighs sadly

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Nightwing

    *he still looked saddened*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

    I bought the book as a companion to Zubrin's "How to Live on Mars."

    Alas, it turned out that Piers Bizony's book doesn't provide the nuts-and-bolts information to permit me to get to Mars. However, it is the best little book (224 pages) to use as a starting point for learning about the politics, the science, the engineering, and the finances of space travel. Its primary shortcomings are the necessarily limited scope of the short book and a lack of an index.

    I an imagine this book being a very useful introduction for a mildly-interested high school student. Or an adult who needs a first exposure to the concepts. Reporters and politicians would be a good market for it, also.

    It will remain on my shelf of reference books, next to Robert Zubrin's book, at least until I find a book that has plans and a list of parts sources.

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