For the past decade, Avis Lang has been an editor and collaborator of the ubiquitous space advocate Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City -- initially as the senior editor responsible for his Natural History magazine column, "Universe," and more recently as the editor of their book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier (W. W. Norton, 2012). Formerly an art historian and curator, Lang is now a research associate at the Hayden Planetarium and a lecturer in English at the City University of New York.
Somehow, Someday: Prospects for Spacefaringby Avis Lang
If you were asked whether humans will have colonized space by the year 2500, chances are you'd say yes. But in light of current realities, political and otherwise, how might that goal be achieved? In this wide-ranging essay, Neil deGrasse Tyson's longtime editor investigates the present state and long-term possibilities of spacefaring -- encouragements versus… See more details below
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If you were asked whether humans will have colonized space by the year 2500, chances are you'd say yes. But in light of current realities, political and otherwise, how might that goal be achieved? In this wide-ranging essay, Neil deGrasse Tyson's longtime editor investigates the present state and long-term possibilities of spacefaring -- encouragements versus impediments, competition versus cooperation -- with reference not only to the United States but to humanity as a whole. SOMEHOW, SOMEDAY is an inviting, provocative read, both for nonscientists who would like to get a quick but substantive overview of space issues and for scientists interested in policy and public awareness.
- Avis Lang
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As someone who is fairly indifferent to issues of outer space, I came across Avis Lang's Somehow, Somedayand decided to give it a read. It was fairly short, after all, so I felt I could catch up on the topic in a brief hour. To my surprise, the subject proved quite interesting. Ms. Lang discusses the space program's past, brings us up to the present, and anticipates the future. As a politically interested person, I'd assumed that we didn't have money as a country to continue a robust space program, but Somehow . . . makes clear that continued spending is seen in many other countries as an economically useful way to invest in the future. Is it in the present and future interest of the US to spend what amounts to pennies to continue as vital players in space? Does a space program make us safer today and tomorrow? Is our status as a nation falling behind in other arenas linked to supporting a vital interest in space? Ms. Lang deals with these questions and more in her short essay. She packs a lot of information in a small package. I strongly recommend that other readers devote the hour or so necessary to read this book. They too will I hope realize that what seemed unimportant is actually vital and interesting.