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Space tourism is not science fiction anymore, Michel van Pelt tells us, but merely a logical step in the evolution of space flight. Space is about to be opened up to more and more people, and the drive behind this is one of the most powerful economic forces: tourism. Van Pelt describes what recreational space travel might look like, and explains the required space technology, the medical issues, astronaut training, and the possibilities of holidays to destinations far, far away.
This is a book for everyone who has ever dreamed of traveling to space: a dream which, according to van Pelt, may not be so far from becoming a reality. Consider it the armchair traveler's guide to the coming boom in space tourism.
Preface.- Introduction.- Before the Flight.- Selection for Spaceflight.- Getting Ready.- Astronauts at School.- Launch.- The Sky is not the Limit.- In Orbit.- Space Stations: Giant Cans and Wheels in the Sky.- The End of the Tour.- Returning from Space.- To the Moon, Mars, and Beyond.- The Road Ahead.- Bibliography.- Index.
Michel van Pelt is involved in studies on future reusable spaceplanes, vehicles envisioned to be used for future space tourism businesses.
From the reviews: "It is aimed at those who dream about circling the Earth and those who are curious to know why others do. ... This is a good tack to take for an audience which needs convincing that space tourism is possible. ! If you want an easy read on the general prospects for space tourism, then this could be a book for you." (Mark Williamson, International Space Review, September, 2005) "This is the first book devoted entirely to space tourism, and it is timely because elaborate arrangements are well in hand. ! The book is cleverly arranged. There are technical sections that are easy to read as well as informative ! . this is a fascinating and valuable book, and any would-be space tourist will be well advised to study it before blasting off." (Sir Patrick Moore, The Times Higher, July 8, 2005) "Michel van Pelt's book is a cheerful assembly of miscellaneous personal astronaut experiences, ambitious business plans, old dreams and new ambitions, mostly about adventures in low-Earth orbit." (Tim Radford, The Guardian, May 25, 2005) "The book alternates chapters covering the history, science, and safety of space flight, with imaginative scenarios detailing a hypothetical trip into space as a tourist. ! Appealing to the senses, the fantasy chapters describe the story from the point of view of the reader. ! the author promotes the subject well; even the most sceptical among us should be inspired ! . Well illustrated, with a central colour-plates section, it also includes an extensive bibliography complete with web and video references, and a useful index." (Emily Baldwin, The Observatory, Vol. 126 (1190), 2006) "I share the author's belief that humans want to experience the thrill and dangers of the unknown. The book has lots of black and white photographs as well as an eight-page colour section and the actual preparation sections for the would-be tourist are highlighted. There is an excellent chapter concerning the Moon, Mars, and beyond, in which we discover an American company has an objective for a luxury lunar fly-by cruiser." (Bryan J. Lee, Astronomy Now, April, 2006) "Van Pelt explores the viability of a space tourism industry and writes for persons who dream of space travel. ! Readers are taken through an imaginary process of space flight, starting with an initial medical examination and ending at the receipt of astronaut space wings. All aspects of space tourism are explored ! . It includes eight color pages, a five-page bibliography, and black-and-white photos ! . It is suitable for space travel enthusiasts. Summing up: Recommended. General readers; professionals." (W. E. Howard, Choice, Vol. 43 (1), September, 2005) "Space Tourism embraces a number of themes including the attitude of governments to the evolution of space technology. Here the reader is presented with a fascinating account of a pre-Cold War example of one-upmanship ! . In fact, he reckons the average human can comfortably endure space flight ! ." (Christopher Sell, The Engineer Online, July, 2005) "Van Pelt discusses the technical issues of space flight and pleasant issues of leisure time in space. ! Van Pelt has much more fun with the leisure time activities. Using a first person perspective, he places the reader on a three day vacation to an orbiting hotel. ! As well, the imagination and optimism shown in this book makes for an enjoyable and quick read. Quotes from science fiction writers shows how reality keeps catching up to the earlier imagination of writers from many years ago." (Mark Mortimer, Universe Today, May, 2005)