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Deep Space Probes

The Space Age is nearly 50 years old but exploration of the outer planets and beyond has only just begun. Deep-Space Probes Second Edition draws on the latest research to explain why we should explore beyond the edge of the Solar System and how we can build highly sophisticated robot spacecraft to make the journey. Many technical problems remain to be solved, among them propulsion systems to permit far higher velocities, and technologies to build vehicles a fraction of the size of today's spacecraft. Beyond the range of effective radio control, robot vehicles for exploring deep space will need to be intelligent, `thinking' craft - able to make vital decisions entirely on their own. Gregory Matloff also looks at the possibility for human travel into interstellar space, and some of the immense problems that such journeys would entail. This second edition includes an entirely new chapter on holographic message plaques for future interstellar probes - a NASA-funded project.
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Table of Contents

Motivations for deep-space travel.- The realms of space.- Tomorrow's targets.- Space propulsion today.- The incredible shrinking spaceprobe.- The nuclear option.- 21st century starflight.- On the technological horizon.- Exotic possibilities.- Of stars, planets and life.- Life between the stars.- Conscious spacecraft.- Meeting ET.- Interstellar message plaques.- Appendix: Photon sail history, engineering and mission analysis.


From the reviews of the second edition: "In this new edition ... Matloff updates the contents and lays the groundwork for understanding the role of robotic and human space travel. The book contains a useful description of the solar system and an explanation of the stellar world around us. ... the book is a good place to learn about this solar system, interplanetary space travel, and journeys to the stars. ... well supplemented by good figures and tables. ... Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals." (W. E. Howard, CHOICE, March, 2006) "The author has concentrated heavily on propulsion techniques touching on some esoteric techniques like anti-matter propulsion, magnetic surfing and warp drive, whilst paying also sufficient attention to nuclear propulsion and solar sailing - of which the author is clearly a proponent. The discussion is sprinkled with graphs and mathematical formulas ... . I can see that it will be of high interest to readers who have specialised in interplanetary and interstellar travel and are looking at the future challenges this branch of astronautics provides." (Jos Heyman, The News Bulletin of The Astronautical Society of Western Australia, Vol. 31 (1), November, 2005)

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