Return to the Moon

Exploration, Enterprise and Energy in the Human Settlement of Space

Harrison H. Schmitt

Return to the MoonA practical vision of our future in space . . .

In just a few decades or less, Harrison Schmitt tells us, humans should be back in space in ways few of us have imagined: As an astrogeologist , businessman, and space advocate, and as a former NASA astronaut and United States Senator, Harrison Schmitt is uniquely qualified to think and talk about not just the science and technology of space, but the issues of politics, management, investment, and human commitment it will take to reconstitute the great enterprise that took us to the Moon more than a 35 years ago.

What Schmitt encourages us to envision for the near future is a whole array of reinvigorated space enterprises, involving both government agencies and private companies - dedicated to forward thinking, willing to commit and sustain the necessary capital and human resources, and determined to foster a culture that is not risk averse. The goal, as he sees it, is nothing less than a new and permanent era of human enterprise, achievement, and settlement in space.

We have a choice . . .

One possible future for humankind in space is no future at all. Considering the dangers, technological challenges, and unquantified benefits, some decision-makers might turn away altogether from the enterprise.

In this book, however, former Astronaut and United States Senator Harrison H. Schmitt argues forcefully that we should look to a future that embraces space - that builds on the lessons of Apollo and on sound practices of business and finance - that will take us back to the Moon and beyond as explorers, scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs, investors . . . and settlers.

Schmitt states unequivocally that a permanent, fully functioning human settlement on the lunar surface will play a crucial role as a stepping-off point for further human and robotic exploration and pioneering in space. But even more critically to present generations on Earth, Schmitt argues, the Moon will provide almost limitless resources for the clean generation of fusion electrical power. He also presents the case for the Moon as an ideal outpost for mining, processing, and storing resources that will greatly enhance our ability to achieve costeffective space exploration and settlement. From his perspective as an active participant in space history, Schmitt details the managerial, legal, geological, technical, and physiological foundations for success in these endeavors.

This bold, authoritative, imaginative, and impassioned book is sure to stir controversy, but sure also to spur policy makers and scientists to envision and plan for a future in space that will be for the betterment of all humankind.

Extent: 352 pages
Binding: CB & J
Publication Date: December 2005
ISBN: 978-0-387-24285-9

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