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  Space and the American Imagination (H. McCurdy)

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Author Topic:   Space and the American Imagination (H. McCurdy)
cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 11-19-2010 12:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space and the American Imagination
by Howard E. McCurdy
People dreamed of cosmic exploration -- winged spaceships and lunar voyages; space stations and robot astronauts -- long before it actually happened. Space and the American Imagination traces the emergence of space travel in the popular mind, its expression in science fiction, and its influence on national space programs.

In few areas is the power of imagination more dramatically illustrated than in the realm of space exploration. Howard E. McCurdy shows how that power inspired people to attempt what they once deemed impossible. In a mere half-century since the launch of the first Earth-orbiting satellite in 1957, humans achieved much of what they had once only read about in the fiction of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells and the nonfiction of Willy Ley, among others.

To reach these goals, however, required broad-based support, and McCurdy examines how advocates employed familiar metaphors to excite interest (promising, for example, that space exploration would recreate the American frontier experience) and prepare the public for daring missions into space. When unexpected realities and harsh obstacles threatened their progress, the space community intensified their efforts in attempts to make their wildest dreams come true.

This lively and important work remains relevant given contemporary questions about future plans at NASA. Fully revised and updated since its original publication in 1997, Space and the American Imagination includes a reworked introduction and conclusion and new chapters on robotics and space commerce.

Tyler
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Posts: 27
From: Auburn, Alabama, United States
Registered: Aug 2009

posted 11-21-2010 10:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tyler   Click Here to Email Tyler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am currently writing a paper about the influence of society on spaceflight. I heartily recommend the original version of this book, because no book has helped me more in my research. From space shuttles, to space stations, to the search for extraterrestrial life, this book has covered all the bases concerning the popular conception of spaceflight.

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