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The Space Tourist's Handbook    by Eric Anderson & Joshua Piven order for
Space Tourist's Handbook
by Eric Anderson
Order:  USA  Can
Quirk, 2005 (2005)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Space tourism is something that many have dreamed of since that giant leap for mankind onto the Moon. Can it really be so close as to merit its own travel guide (which features a contest to win a trip to space on its cover)? It's already been done! The book's Foreword is written by Dennis Tito, 'the first person to pay to travel in space.' He tells us that 'writing the cheque was the easiest part' of what turned into one of the most wonderful experiences of his life.

This little guide includes a History of Space Travel and of Space Adventures which so far has facilitated space travel for three men including Tito. They plan further ventures via Soyuz flights and later, fully private missions, whose viability SpaceShipOne demonstrated in 2004. The Space Tourist's Handbook, 'a combination travel guide, instruction manual, and survival plan', tells and shows (via impressive color images) the space traveler what to expect. Coverage includes: Global Spaceports (facilities and climates); Destinations in Space from the International Space Station to the Moon (sample itinerary included); Space Vehicles (the scary part) from edge-of-space aircraft to sub-orbital and orbital (true space) systems; Space Missions from a zero gravity flight (intriguing but it's cheaper to scuba dive) to a future (20-30 years estimated) trans-lunar cruise, at costs that range from many thousands to millions.

Start saving and keep reading - there's lots more here. Training is discussed, including a 30-day preflight fitness schedule, how to ace the medical (in particular how to appear sane, useful on Earth as well as in space), and how to survive the vestibular (spinning) chair. There's a brief tutorial on space science and equipment, a page of Russian phrases (in case you travel Soyuz), and advice for zero and high-G training (start with roller coasters). Details are provided on the launch, emergency protocols, how to spacewalk, how to use the toilet, and how to get back home again. The authors conclude with a statement on the importance of space travel for humanity, whose 'future depends on our ability to make it to other worlds.' So, plan to enjoy your first space trip ... but make a few millions first. And if you're looking for an unusual holiday gift this year, give someone The Space Tourist's Handbook; it's out of this world.

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