Where Next, Columbus?: The Future of Space Exploration

Valerie Neal, Editor Oxford University Press, USA $39.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-19-509277-6
Planetary exploration has lost the popularity it enjoyed during the Apollo era, and the 10 essays collected here are unlikely to rekindle the enthusiasm. Neal, a curator of space history at the Smithsonian Institution, has assembled an impressive group of scientists-including Timothy Ferris, Stephen Jay Gould, Robert L. Forward and Carl Sagan-to consider the current status of space exploration, its past and future. With the exception of Gould's graceful piece on Martian paleontology, the essays are mostly predictable, failing to send out sparks of wonder or incite debate. Some of the authors seem to favor a sort of manifest cosmic destiny, as suggested by the book's title; most have written more cogently on this and related topics in other works. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!