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This book proposes a sound and realistic exploration on the topic of terraforming. Often used as the narrative premise in science fiction novels, terraforming is the process by which an uninhabitable planet might be converted into one capable of supporting life. This book presents what is physically possible today and hints what might conceivably be put into practice in the next several hundred years.
The author works within the realms of current technology and known physics, although speculation on future advancements inevitably enters the discussion. Introductory chapters establish why terraforming will be of great benefit to human kind, and also put in place the basic physical arguments necessary to the terraforming process. The following parts look at various proposals that have been made for terraforming the planets Mars and Venus. The book concludes with a glimpse to the much deeper future when humankind will explore and colonize the outer solar system and possibly the newly discovered exoplanets.
Prolog.- Introduction.- Life in the Solar System, and Beyond.- The Limits of the World.- In the Right Place at the Right Time.- The Terraforming of Mars.- The Terraforming of Venus.- An Abundance of Habitats.- Epilog.- Notes and References.- Internet Resources.- Glossary of Technical Terms.- Appendices.- Index.
Martin Beech is Associate professor of astronomy, and Head of the Astronomy Department at Campion College, The University of Regina. His main research interests during the past decade have focused on the smaller objects within the solar system (comets, asteroids and meteoroids) and has continued to perform research related to the structure and evolution of stars (the area of his doctoral studies).
From the reviews: "Earth will not last forever; it will take many human generations for most of Earth's problems to manifest, at the very least. One may consider these the problems of far-off generations or, as Beech ! does in Terraforming, one might consider how to begin to create new homes on Mars or Venus. Beech describes our modern view of the solar system, emphasizing the resources available to us on the familiar planets ! . Summing Up: Recommended. General and academic audiences, lower-division undergraduate and above." (C. Palma, Choice, Vol. 47 (1), September, 2009)