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)