Planetary Exploration - Towards New Worlds or New Possibilities

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B. Parkinson (2001), JBIS, 54, 229-235

Refcode: 2001.54.229
Keywords: Planetary exploration, manned space, transportation, resources

Abstract:
While the planetary exploration programme, thus far, has revealed much exciting scientific knowledge, very many questions remain unanswered. If, over the next century, Space is to provide any basis for overcoming the Malthusian “Limits to Growth”, a great deal more will have to be known about the nature and availability of extra- terrestrial resources. This paper looks at the steps required to discover the resources of the Solar System - particularly the Moon, Mars, and asteroids. “In situ” propellant production may be a key transportation develop- ment that will make these bodies accessible. Whether this will lead to new worlds to live on, or new ways of living, remains to be seen.

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