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« Back In The Sunshine State | Main | Where Did The "Neocons" Go? »

A Spaceappalooza

Speaking of The New Atlantis, in addition to the Zubrin excerpt, the fall 2007 issue has a lot of space essays to commemorate the half century since Sputnik. It has a classic essay from the early space age by Hannah Arendt on man's limitations (which I may get around to commenting on later), with several current-day responses, some retrospection from Jim Oberg and (at long last) my review of Michael Belfiore's Rocketeers.

Posted by Rand Simberg at December 29, 2007 01:55 PM
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What strikes me first is that neither Arendt nor any of the commentators pauses for more than a moment to question that grandiose word "conquest," when the reality was then -- and is now, and will be for a long time to come -- that we've barely put a toe into space.

None of them gives much thought to the possibility (IMHO, the likelihood) that by the time we're out there on a scale to justify the word "spacefaring" -- let alone "conquest" -- our nations, our cultures, and quite possibly our minds and bodies will be very different.

It all has the air of Columbus, Cabot, and Vespucci talking about the New World in terms of its significance for eternal questions like the Treaty of Tordesillas, the Counter-Reformation and the Ottoman menace: interesting, but parochial.

Posted by Monte Davis at December 30, 2007 02:37 AM

I had a chance to flip through Michael's book while at Barnes and Nobel the other day. I'll admit to doing a vanity search on MSS, and spending most of my time seeing what he had to say about us (since that would give me the best feel for how accurate of a job he did). All in all, I think he did a pretty good job. It was an interesting read, and sometime soon when I have money for it, I think I'm going to buy the book and read the whole thing. I hope this is successful enough that at some point he or someone else can do an update on the fates of the various companies.


Posted by Jonathan Goff at December 31, 2007 07:52 AM

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