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Looking for Life, Searching the Solar System

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  • Page extent: 384 pages
  • Size: 229 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.56 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521124546)

How did life begin on Earth? Is it confined to our planet? Will humans one day be able to travel long distances in space in search of other life forms? Written by three experts in the space arena, Looking for Life, Searching the Solar System aims to answer these and other intriguing questions. Beginning with what we understand of life on Earth, it describes the latest ideas about the chemical basis of life as we know it, and how they are influencing strategies to search for life elsewhere. It considers the ability of life, from microbes to humans, to survive in space, on the surface of other planets, and be transported from one planet to another. It looks at the latest plans for missions to search for life in the Solar System, and how these are being influenced by new technologies, and current thinking about life on Earth. This fascinating and broad-ranging book is for anyone with an interest in the search for life beyond our planet.

• Written by three experts in the space arena • Brings together diverse but related subjects • Maps out the future in this important area of space exploration


Preface; Part I. The Imperative of Exploration: 1. Exploration as a metaphor; Part II. How Can We Know Life?: 2. The molecular basis of life on Earth; 3. The limits to life; 4. The transfer of life between planets; 5. What are the signatures of life?; 6. After the discovery/life as a cosmic phenomenon; Part III. The Search for Life Beyond Earth: 7. The prospects for long-duration human space-flight; 8. Human exploration and the search for life; 9. Interplanetary ethics; Part IV. The Cosmic Biological Imperative: 10. The key technologies for human planetary exploration; 11. Exploration in space; 12. Exploration in time; 13. Prediction, imagination and the role of technology; Part IV. Our Cosmic Destiny: 14. Our cosmic destiny; Appendices; Index.


Review of the hardback: 'The authors of Looking for Life, Searching the Solar System have pooled their expertise to produce an accurate, up-to-date and highly readable survey of the field.' New Scientist

Review of the hardback: '… serious students will find it very useful indeed.' Sky at Night

Review of the hardback: 'The information within - the whole sweet mystery of life in the solar system - is enough to make you want to go into orbit with them.' The Guardian

Review of the hardback: '…a fascinating and thorough round-up of present research and future hopes for one of humankind's most fundamental quests.' Astronomy Now

Review of the hardback: '… when I read the book, I was very pleased to find that it tackled the subject from a different angle, giving a new perspective on the material, and hence is a valuable addition to the astrobiology canon … the book is an informative and well-written account of astrobiology from the perspective of a contribution from human exploration of the Solar System.' The Observatory

Review of the hardback: '… on the essentials of space exploration, Looking for Life couldn't be better … Perhaps most interesting for those of us sitting on a decaying planet Earth and wondering how humanity might ever escape from it, is the section on ''The cosmic biological imperative'. Its chapters outline the sort of spacecraft we might need to embark on our exploration, how many crew, their physical and psychological needs.' Cosmos

Review of the hardback: '…the book is an informative and well written account of astrobiology from the the perspective of a contribution from human exploration of the solar system.' The Observatory

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