Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Book on Our Future in Outer Space

Astronomer Chris Impey examines the possibilities of the universe in his new book Beyond. "I like the idea that the universe — the boundless possibility of 20 billion habitable worlds — has led to things that we can barely imagine," he says. In the 1970s, NASA Ames conducted several space colony studies, commissioning renderings of the giant spacecraft which could house entire cities.
Astronomer Chris Impey examines the possibilities of the universe in his new book Beyond. He was interviewed on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air," on May 11.
(Image Source: Rick Guidice / NASA Ames Research Center )

The possibility of humans colonizing outer space may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but British astronomer Chris Impey says that if the U.S. were pumping more money into the space program, the sci-fi fantasy would be well on its way to reality.
Astronomer Chris Impey is a professor at the University of Arizona. He was interviewed by Terry Gross on "Fresh Air" on Monday (May 11), broadcast by National Public Radio.
"I think we might actually be living on the moon and Mars," Impey tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Maybe not many of us, but we might have our first bases there. We'd have robust commercial space activity or people routinely in orbit. America wouldn't have had a hiatus of four years and counting when we couldn't get astronauts into space. It would be probably quite different."

Impey says the possibility of humans living in space is very real. And if — or when — it happens, the space settlers will face conditions that may cause them to become an entirely new species.

"They'll evolve physiologically quite quickly, because if the gravity is less — as it would be on Mars or the moon — then they will change," Impey says. "Their physical bodies will change even while they're alive. And then if they have children and grandchildren — then they'll change even more."

Impey is a faculty member at the University of Arizona and the author of Beyond: Our Future in Space. In his previous book, Humble Before the Void, Impey recounted his journey to Northern India to teach a program designed to introduce science into the Tibetan Buddhist monastic tradition.

More & Radio Interview Highlights:
Link >>> http://www.npr.org/2015/05/11/405503895/the-great-beyond-contemplating-life-sex-and-elevators-in-space

Excerpt from Professor Impey's book, Beyond: Our Future in Space:
Link >>> http://www.npr.org/books/titles/405503900/beyond-our-future-in-space?tab=excerpt#excerpt

Source: National Public Radio.

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