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Human Travel to the Moon and Mars: Waste of Money or Next Frontier?

Overview

Americans are divided over the future of the U.S. space program. Some say it's time to send astronauts back to the Moon, as well as to Mars for the first time. They believe that exploring these worlds will lead to all sorts of payoffs, including new scientific knowledge, new sources of energy, and perhaps even future homes for humans. Others strongly disagree. They argue that the dangers and costs of crewed space exploration are too great to be justified. They believe that robots can do a better job of exploring ...

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Overview

Americans are divided over the future of the U.S. space program. Some say it's time to send astronauts back to the Moon, as well as to Mars for the first time. They believe that exploring these worlds will lead to all sorts of payoffs, including new scientific knowledge, new sources of energy, and perhaps even future homes for humans. Others strongly disagree. They argue that the dangers and costs of crewed space exploration are too great to be justified. They believe that robots can do a better job of exploring the Moon, Mars, and other parts of space—for much less money and with no risk to human life. Understanding this debate involves looking at the facts and figures and talking to experts on both sides. It also involves some probing questions: • In a time of economic crisis, should the United States be spending billions of dollars on crewed space exploration? • How would science, industry, and human society benefit from crewed missions to the Moon and Mars? • Who should foot the bill—the United States, a consortium of nations, or private business? To answer these questions, this book looks at the costs of crewed missions to Mars and the Moon, as well as the potential payoff; the dangers of space exploration, both physical and psychological; and the potential for human settlement on Mars. We'll hear a variety opinions—from astronauts, astronomers, U.S. presidents, and NASA officials. Supplemented with quotes, anecdotes, and discussions from the pages of USA TODAY, The Nation's No. 1 Newspaper, this book will broaden your understanding of the issue and help you form your own opinion, either for or against crewed missions to the Moon and Mars.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Matt Doeden was born in southern Minnesota and lived parts of his childhood in Golden Valley, Minnesota, and Madison, Minnesota. He studied journalism at Mankato State University, where he worked at the college newspaper for three years. In his senior year, he served as the paper's Sports Editor, which put him in charge of the entire sports section, the sports writers, and the photographers. He covered mostly college sports, but also the Minnesota Vikings, who held training camp at MSU. His work allowed him to meet and interview people like Dennis Green, Cris Carter, Robert Smith, and more. Matt went on to work as a sports writer for the Mankato paper, and then he got a job as an editor with a small children's publisher called Capstone Press, and in 2003 he decided to start his own business as a freelance writer and editor. Since then Matt has written and edited hundreds of books. Lots of them are on high-interest topics like cars, sports, and airplanes. He also writes and edits on geography, science, and even math.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: One Giant Leap 5

Chapter 1 Stay or Go? 9

Chapter 2 Blastoff: The History of Space Exploration 19

Chapter 3 Big Bucks: Paying for Space Exploration 37

Chapter 4 Risky Business: The Dangers of Space Exploration 55

Chapter 5 Stir Crazy: The Psychological Risks of Space Travel 67

Chapter 6 The Final Frontier: Colonization and Terraforming 79

Epilouge: An Uncertain Future 91

Timeline 94

Glossary 97

Source Notes 99

Selected Bibliography 102

Organizations to Contact 103

Further Information 105

Index 109

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