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Peter Bond
Stepping Stones to the Cosmos
The Story of Planetary Exploration

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Every planet and other significant body in our solar system (including some asteroids, but not Pluto) has been or soon will be landed on, crashed into, flown by, or otherwise prodded and peered at for whatever information it will yield. The lion's share of all of this exploration has been done and will continue to be done in unmanned missions. Because these missions lack the obvious human drama and personal danger present in manned missions, they tend to receive less public attentio and, in Peter Bond’sview, are probably somewhat undervalued in the popular imagination. But if we draw back and look at the whole history of the last 40 years of space exploration, a very different and extremely exciting story emerges.

Peter Bond provides an overview of key, unmanned missions, chapter by chapter, to planets in the twentieth century. He tells the story of the mission planners and engineers who, working mostly in the background, made these unprecedented achievements in scientific exploration possible. Bond’s perspective provides a much-needded overview, but it also details the very human feelings that animated the intense rivalries between the Soviet Union and the United States, and most recently the difficulties that arose in collaborations between NASA and ESA on the Rosetta and Halley's Comet missions.

Table of contents
  • Why Explore the Solar System
  • Mapping the Moon
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Mars
  • Asteroids
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus and Neptune
  • Comets.
  • Future Prospects

Springer Berlin, 2007, 264 S.
28,84 Euro
Hardcover, w. 60 figs. and 40 col. ills.
ISBN: 978-0-387-40212-3

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