Home Quotes Biographies Free Essays and Articles Discussion Forum  


Our Future in Space:

An Exploration of Earth’s Inevitable Fate and the Future of Humankind

By Daniel Fine

           It is the early 1960’s.  NASA is beginning its project to send humans to our closest unexplored sphere in Space.  It is the end of the 1960’s.  Everyone around the world watches in awe and disbelief as NASA successfully launches Apollo 11, the space shuttle which sends the first humans to the Moon.  Houston receives the first transmission “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” from Commander Neil Armstrong after touching down on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.  If a person in the 1930’s was asked if they thought it was possible for humans to ever reach the moon, or even Space, typical responses might have been, “There is no chance” or “Never in a million years”.  But we have all imagined what a futuristic society would be like.  Common thought included world peace, the end of starvation, full employment, high-tech corporations, futuristic homes and cars, and even food in the form of pills where only water is added.  However, take this imaginary futuristic society one step further.

In the fifth grade, as part of a science class homework assignment, I was asked to close my eyes and envision the world in the future.  In my future-esque vision, I saw two different worlds.  I saw a futuristic Earth community that included all of the cliché ideas, such as highly developed cities, flying cars, limitless resources, and world peace.  But in the second world, I also saw a futuristic Space community, which included habitats on the moon and Mars, spaceships headed for Space, taking off from the planet on a daily basis, and Space stations traveling at light-speed to colonies in other solar systems and different worlds.  At first this seemed to be just a fantasy, but as I started to study the Cosmos, this future in Space seemed more possible than ever.  With the new technology and scientific breakthroughs that we have accomplished since Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in 1905 and the discovery of an Earth-like planet in 2006 some 21,000 light-years from Earth, we owe it to the brilliance of the human mind and continued survival of the human specie to reach outer Space.  Whether it is a matter of years, centuries, or millennia, it is only a matter of time before our future is in Space.

Space tourism is one of the springboards or catalysts for our destiny in Space.  Since 1969, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has continued to send humans to Space in order to explore and perform tests which will be vital for our future in the Cosmos.  However, while NASA heads the governmentally financed campaign to send shuttles into Space for scientific purposes, private capitalistic companies have begun to head the campaign to send privately funded shuttles carrying tourists into Space for leisure purposes.  These companies have been competing for money incentives which are providing the motivation to send humans to Space, which will then become the basis for a continuous and successful commercial industry.  The first money prize incentive for getting humans to Space on a commercially piloted spacecraft was known as the X-Prize.  The X-Prize is “a $10 million prize created in 1996 by the X-Prize Foundation […] which will be awarded to the first team that flies a rocket with three people on board to an altitude of 100 kilometers and repeats the flight within two weeks” (Dinerman 1-2)1  By creating spaceships that can overcome the wear and tear created from a single suborbital flight, some 27 countries are planning to compete to win this task.  They will send three humans into space, and repeat the process within a short amount of time, all for a prize which is dwarfed by the costs of creating these ships.  But, even though the price of creating the winning capsule is immense, these companies are not competing for the money.  They are competing primarily to be the first people to make possible what will be the future for humankind.  In essence, they are competing to be the pioneers of the future.

In October of 2004, merely eight years after first announced, the X-Prize was claimed by the new Virgin Atlantic branch, Virgin Galactic, for its spacecraft, SpaceShip-One which successfully completed the suborbital Space flights.  After patiently waiting to award this prize, “[t]he organizers of the $10 million Ansari X-Prize […] earnestly believe that the recent back-to-back prize-winning flights of SpaceShip-One were the harbinger of a whole new era of Space flight, the spark that will ignite a revolution in transportation” (Chandler 1)2  The completion of this contest has established a new means of transportation, which the public will soon be able to use for a hefty price.

Besides creating a modern technology, another side benefit for these companies is that the technology is not restricted solely to Space travel.  The technology developed by these companies to reach outer Space can also be put to use in other areas of travel on Earth.  Now, airplane companies will be able to send their planes to higher altitudes, which will increase overall speeds and decrease travel time.

A short time after the X-Prize was created, another prize contest was developed which stretches the limits of the technology currently available.  This new prize, much larger than before at a hefty $50 million, is modeled after and more rigorous than its predecessor, the Ansari X-Prize. Although the X-Prize started a revolution, this new prize contest will forge modern Space travel on a greater level.  The winners of this prize will have to follow the new guidelines, which are “for a manned vehicle that is able to reach an altitude of 400km and complete two orbits of the Earth.  It must then repeat this feat within 60 days.  And it must do it by the end of 2010” (“Science and Technology: One small step for space tourism…; Private spaceflight” 2)3.  By not only getting a commercial ship into suborbital flight, but having it orbit the Earth and repeat the task, this new prize will allow private companies to understand the knowledge of how to create a system of transportation vital to our future, and create the equipment that NASA can potentially use in its Space program.

The third motivation is the most rigorous of the prize contests currently in existence.  It is known as the Mars Prize.  As of now, this is a theoretical prize and does not currently exist, but it would be a significantly larger amount of money and the main goal would still be to send humans to the Cosmos.  This contest is unique because it does not beat around the bush by trying to get ships into a simple suborbital flight or orbit around the Earth.  The contest shoots straight at the heart of what NASA is trying to accomplish.  This contest has “a grand $30 billion Mars Prize for getting a human to Mars and planting the American flag” (Tierney 2)4  Since getting a human to Mars is outside of our current realm of technological capability, this prize is only now inchoate and theoretical.  No human has ever set foot on another planet or satellite beside our Earth and moon, and our technology only allows us to send robotic probes to extraterrestrial target destinations.  However, when both of the prize contests have been won, we may have the necessary proficiency and knowledge that will enable these private companies to send humans in piloted spacecrafts, rather than unmanned machines, to Mars and beyond.  One thing is for certain, that even if the companies do not get these ships to Mars by the projected years based on the specific guidelines set by the contests, these private companies will not stop trying to fulfill the goals necessary for becoming pioneers of Space.

            However, there is one minor setback in making Space tourism the revolutionary business that entrepreneurs hope it will be. Each of these private companies are spending and investing their own money, just to meet the guidelines for a specific contest.  And although these contests are acting as the catalysts for a new industry, no one knows for sure if this business will actually take off and thrive.  Like any market, private companies are running their business with hopes to break-even and realize a return on their investment within a decade of operation.  For this reason, it is expected that the price of each ticket into Space to be extremely expensive, in the range of a few hundred thousand dollars.  Only a small fraction of the world’s population will have anything close to the economic resources necessary for such a flight.  Although the price for tickets is highly expensive right now, once the Space tourism industry becomes successful, the price is expected to drop drastically.  This will make tickets more affordable to a greater portion of the population.  Most companies have the mentality that “the satisfaction is not so much about launching a new industry as it is achieving something on the cheap, virtually in the family garage” (Chandler 2)5.  Although companies are looking to recoup their initial investment, their main priority is not to turn a profit.  It is to make the future of travel affordable so that virtually everyone will be able to take a spaceflight.

However, it is expected, that if the industry begins to pick up, most of these companies will turn a profit.  But right now, companies are offering a ride on their ships “[f]or close to $200,000, [and] customers will get a three-day experience that will include a lot of medical checks” (“Science and Technology: One small step for space tourism…; Private spaceflight” 2)6.  While this industry is growing, for the first years the costs of going into Space may not be worth the actual thrill and experience for most.  For a price close to that of some small apartments and homes, passengers will be able to experience the preparations, medical tests, lift off, and weightlessness that astronauts experience.  However, while three days is a long period of time to spend in Space, not all of it will be in space.  As a matter of fact, SpaceShip-One’s Space flight only offers a five minute or so time frame in which passengers will experience weightlessness.  The other two and a half days will be spent preparing for the Space flight.  Is $200,000 really worth five minutes?  When you factor in the time it takes to liftoff, feel weightless, and then land, the actual flight lasts roughly 5 or so hours.  When broken down, for the $200,000, one is paying $40,000 per hour, which is about $3,333 per minute.  Many companies believe the money is worth the ride, which is why they have entered the industry.  Although the prices are seemingly unreasonable, companies forecast that expected earnings will surpass costs.  The first people that travel aboard the spacecrafts will break new ground while they take “part in something as vitally important to the future of the human race as anything that has happened in history to date” (Stine 259)7.  Our future is in Space and by taking these first steps and paying the steep price, we are providing the capital and investment that will allow Space tourism to be a stepping stone for our future.

            It will not just be the price of tickets that will allow these companies to stay in business.  As in any industry, publicity and endorsement play huge roles in driving profit.  Many companies may want to sponsor both NASA and the private companies’ campaigns for space travel.  One way to provide the sponsorship is to have their company’s logo printed onto a commercial shuttle’s body.  Through the use of promotional funding, these businesses can generate income from a source other than ticket sales.  NASA and the private companies could “[s]eek family-friendly corporate sponsors that could plaster their emblems and logos alongside” (Dunn 1)8 the exterior of the spacecrafts.  By seeking corporate sponsors from a variety of other businesses, the ticket prices will be able to drop more quickly than expected.  Then, Space tourism will be more affordable even more quickly than projected.  Taking a ride into Space may not be that far off for people alive today.

            While Space tourism is now solely a private venture, the government has also taken steps to support projects that send humans into Space by directing funding towards NASA operations and missions.  President Bush has made efforts to create a Moon base during his presidency.  Although it won’t be created for many years after he has left the Whitehouse, his plans will still be in motion for future Presidents to pick up and finish.  Having a lunar base close to Earth is another first step towards the colonization of Space.  One of the first proposals is “[b]y 2014, Bush wants the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to begin flying a new crew exploration vehicle that could carry astronauts to and from the space station and the moon” (Kelly 1)9.  However, Bush first needs to commission a project to build a moon base that could shelter the crew, and allow them to live on the Moon in a self-sustaining environment for extended periods of time.  Once completed, the new crew could live on the Moon in a similar setting to that of Earth’s, experimenting with projects that will be useful in our future.  Then, the Space station can act as a midway point in getting materials and equipment to the Moon for the astronauts to work with.

The Moon’s gravity is one sixth that of the Earth’s.  Having a moon base will also allow us to use this lack of gravity to our advantage.  Hypothetically, once a moon base is established, we can launch space ships off of the moon instead the Earth, allowing them to travel at faster speeds than would be possible if leaving from Earth.  Another government project currently underway is similar to that of the Mars Prize.  Both of the Mars Rovers were sent to Mars to explore the red planet.  Although it is only in its theoretical stages, now that we have new knowledge about the planet, both NASA and the government want to send humans there to not only experiment, but to search for life on the barren planet.  Successfully landing humans on Mars “would recapture the high ground of world space leadership and would provide an exciting focus for creativity, motivation, and pride of the American people” (Ride 139)10.  Being the first country to land humans on another unexplored planet in Space would give NASA’s space program the morale and confidence necessary to create and complete more extensive programs and initiatives in the future.  Landing humans on Mars will also give the American people a sense of unity that hasn’t been felt since the Apollo missions in the 1960’s.

However, while both NASA and private companies are vying for the incentives and the ability to send humans into Space and onto other planets, the main precaution is still safety.  But, there has always been the issue of safety since the explosions of the Challenger mission in 1986 and the Columbia mission in 2003.  In order for space tourism to become a giant industry, there has to be safety precautions outlined before the first flight.  Right now, “[t]he biggest safety concern in the space tourism business is likely to be the medical condition of the passengers rather than the hardware” (Morris 2)11.  The hardware of the spaceship is something that can often be checked for error.  The health of passengers is not.  These companies have to make sure that their passengers are both mentally and physically able to take the extensive three day medical tests and preparations.  Filtering out those who aren’t suited for Space flight will take the most time.  However, once the companies can set the precautions as to who can and can not travel into space, the businesses in the Space tourism industry will be the groundbreaking leaders as the pioneers for the future of mankind.

Although space tourism may be a springboard for our future in space, there are still many concerns about the overall industry.  If too many companies begin to focus too largely on the number of people they are sending into space or the number of times their ships are launching, will safety still be given the highest priority before every launch?  Since Challenger and Columbia, people have begun to see Space travel as a hazardous and potentially fatal action.  A shuttle lifting off of the ground is a very dangerous form of travel.  Some people believe that “space travel, while desirable, is just too hazardous to become a major tourist activity.  It is even more dangerous than so-called “extreme” sports, such as scuba diving or sky diving” (Sawaya 2)12.  Even though there is a potentially higher fatality risk when being launched into space than there is when participating in many extreme sports, the companies who founded the industry know that safety is a huge concern.  Space travel is the future for mankind, and if the foundation of our survival is not safe for every person to travel on, then the industry is bound to fail.  However, trust is a huge issue as well.  We have to have faith in these companies such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin to create a means of travel that is as safe as an airplane flying from Los Angeles to New York.  Without the trust of the people they are serving, their new industry will fail.  But even if people are eventually supposed to move to Space, why is the price of a ticket for a seat on a single voyage so expensive when only a fraction of the population can afford it?  If the prices are so high, then is there even a market for space tourism?  There is, but “the market would only be about 100,000 people.  And then, only a small percentage – experts say about 1% - of that number would be willing to pay for a space flight” (Sawaya 3)13 at first.  But the money spent on a ticket is giving the companies back the money they spent on initial investments and time put into developing a safe form of tourism.  Once the business picks up, and more people start to ‘fly’, the price will come down drastically, making it more affordable, and therefore increasing the number of people who would want to fly.  A bonus to paying the $200,000 for a single ticket is the bragging rights that come with being one of the first few thousand tourists to enter Space.

Even though our future is in space, it does not involve actually living on any single planet.  We may potentially have colonies on different moons and planets once we learn how to create a way to self-sustain the habitats, but our real future lies within traveling around space itself.  Since its creation, the sun has been running off of its own nuclear energy, and in the next couple of billion years, that energy will eventually run out.  Until that time, the sun will continue to heat up and expand, leaving the Earth vulnerable.  As the sun heats up, it sends out flares that can potentially destroy Earth.  And although this has never happened yet in our solar system, “several nearby stars that closely resemble our sun can become violent, shooting off flares powerful enough to fry a planet more than a billion miles away” (“Death flares” 1)14.  The flares and prominences sent off by our Sun are more than millions of miles across that stretch millions of miles into the orbital alignment of our planets, but can’t yet harm Earth.  The liquid hot plasma jets that shoot out of the Sun’s surface are small compared to the flares that will erupt once the sun runs out of energy.  Once the Sun uses all of its nuclear energy it will implode, then it will expand to become a Red Giant.  Many “[a]stronomers […] have discovered that some of [these red giants] apparently gobbled up large planets whole” (Fountain 1)15.  However, on its way to becoming a Red Giant, the Sun enters an extremely violent phase.  This phase is known as the Asymptotic Giant Branch, AGB.  Our Sun will become unstable and undertake thermal pulses, increasing its size and energy exponentially.  It will pulse to become to the size of Earth’s current orbit, and will become hot enough to melt the surface of our planet.  Then, the Sun’s gravity will pull the Moon back into Earth, with great speed, causing it to crash into us (Ward 162)16.            However, this isn’t even the most devastating blow to the Earth.  There is a small chance that the Earth will survive the Sun’s thermal pulses, as it moves outward caused by the loss of much of the Sun’s gravity when it implodes.  But conversely, our planet could spiral inwards into the Sun, at over 20 kilometers per second, plummeting into the Sun’s atmosphere.  As we spiral inward, our planet would be annihilated at temperatures around 100,000 degrees (Ward 162-163)17.  While many agree that this is the ultimate fate for the Earth based on predictions and comparisons to similar solar systems, there might be a chance that the Earth won’t perish by fire after all.  If by some slim chance, we do escape the Sun’s actual death, the Earth “would probably be finished off by the intense radiation of these events” (Ward 165)18.    The only side-benefit to all of this death and destruction is that the gases released from our planet when being vaporized will be sent into all parts of the universe, where life will continue.  The only way for the human specie to survive, is to inhabit other planets.

Hundreds of scientists devote their lives to programs involving the search for extraterrestrial intelligence because if life exists on other planets, then humans might be able to colonize that planet in some way.  With the help of hundreds of satellite dishes, “astronomers searching for worlds around distant stars announced the discovery […] of the first Earthlike solar system, boosting hopes that there are other habitable spots in the universe” (McFarling 1)19.  If life was to be found in other solar systems and even in our own solar system, it would be the biggest news in the history of mankind.  We might then be able to inhabit the planet or moon where that life existed and learn to harness the resources found there.  The only problem would be an atmosphere.  Earth is very well protected from the dangers of Space because of its atmosphere.  The only way to inhabit a planet without an atmosphere is to terraform it until it has suitable living conditions, and an atmosphere similar to our own.  Since Mars is the closest planet to ours where we believe it is possible for humans to live, it would be the first planet would we try to transform.  In order “[t]o terraform Mars, engineers would have to find a way of thickening its atmosphere […].  In addition, ways will have to be found to heat up the planet” (“Mars – a new home for man?” 2)20.  The only way for this to happen is basically for us to destroy some of the planet.

For centuries, humans have been polluting the environment and atmosphere by consuming the Earth’s natural resources and sending the excess gas and chemicals into the air.  This pollution has created a green house effect, which is slowly heating up our planet.  By using methods similar to those we are inadvertently using on Earth, we can pollute the Martian atmosphere.  Although this plan would be a time costly project, it is theoretically possibly.  In order to trap heat, we would have to pollute the atmosphere using machines that will spew excess gas into the air.  This heat will then melt the planet’s ice caps, releasing water.  Then, plants and trees can be planted, diminishing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, replacing it with breathable oxygen, making Mars a suitable place to live.  The two problems impeding this process are that we have not yet developed a technology that will allow us to pollute the Martian atmosphere, and if we did, this entire process would still take thousands of years to complete.  But, when the Sun dies, there is a chance that Mars could be destroyed like Mercury, Venus, and Earth.  Then, terraforming Mars would be used primarily as a means of gaining knowledge rather than as a place to live.  Successfully terraforming another planet would give us the erudition necessary so that we might be able to terraform other planets in other solar systems.  But, because what will inevitably happen to the Sun will happen in other solar systems as well, we must leave Earth.  If we get off of our planet, we can ensure the human species’ survival because a world “with colonies and enterprises in space could not be destroyed” (Howerton 4)21.  There would always be some human colony or distant space station that would remain if something were to happen here on Earth or to other space stations.  That is why our future will be mostly based on traveling throughout the Cosmos, creating colonies on friendly planets, but ultimately forsaking one home planet.

Our future is in space, but that is in the future.  Why do we need to focus on something right now that is so far off?  Most of the reasons why we should make Space travel a priority are totally irrelevant to us right now because they won’t take place for so long.  Why worry now?  Even though our destiny isn’t for many centuries to come, Space tourism will still be a main factor in our future in Space.  If we don’t focus on these commercial projects now, then it is only a matter of time before our own curiosity will urge us to try to see if it is even possible to reach Space in a form of tourism.  Why not start now, when we know we can control our fate?  Humans also live in a symbiotic circle with the creatures with which we share the planet.  Even if we do develop the technology and terraform Mars, how will we take sea creatures into space to inhabit other planets?  How will we survive if the dying Sun takes Mars as well?  If we do terraform Mars, we will have water on that planet.  This will allow us to send some animal species as well as humans to live on that planet in harmony as they do now on Earth.  Once Mars has similar living conditions, we will be able to take Earth’s creatures up to our second home.  And, if we learn that Mars will suffer the same potential fate as Earth, then Mars will be a way to learn how to live on a desolate planet, so we may take that knowledge with us when we need to transform another planet. 

The Sun’s death and transformation into a Red Giant will not happen for billions of years.  Why worry about getting humans to live in Space now?  It is never too early to think about the future of our species.  For all we know, we are the only intelligent life forms in the entire universe.  It would an entire waste for us to sit back and wait for our inevitable fate.  But, it is true.  The total lifetime of our Sun has been calculated to be roughly 10 billion years.  The time it took for the entire biological evolution on Earth, from one celled organisms to humans has taken about 4 billion years (Koerner 233)22.  And although the Sun still has about half of its lifetime left, Earth is still in danger from something many people don’t know is happening.  Since the Big Bang, the entire universe has been moving outward at incredible speeds.  All objects are spreading farther and farther away from each other since the initial explosion, spreading out into the vastness of Space.  However, there is an object that is not moving away from, but towards the Milky Way Galaxy.  This object is the Andromeda Galaxy.  Within anywhere from 250 million to 4 billion years, this Galaxy will collide with ours.  This collision will both destroy old stars and create new stars, until both galaxies finally merge into one (See Appendix A).  Since it is not known when exactly this collision is going to happen, and 250 million years is significantly less than 4 billion years, humans need to consider the possibility that this will take place sooner rather than later.  Therefore, it is imperative that we do something to ensure the continued survival of the only known intelligent life.  And although we haven’t yet developed the technology that will allow us to travel throughout Space, taking the first steps through Space tourism and experimentation, will allow us to develop that technology more quickly than ever thought possible.  Taking the baby steps now, will ensure our survival for millions of years in the future.

We know that the death of the Earth is inevitable.  It’s just a matter of time before we have to fulfill our destinies, colonize other planets, and ultimately live in Space.  However, we don’t necessarily have to fulfill that destiny.  There are four main possibilities for the steps that we can take to either stay on or get off of our home planet to continue surviving.  The first plan entails never leaving Earth.  We will continue to live on Earth for the next five to six billion years, providing we do not get destroyed by the Andromeda Galaxy, and we do not destroy ourselves first.  The last generation of humankind will live out the rest of their days, waiting inevitably for the sun to explode, which will be both the greatest spectacle ever to be witnessed, and the final end to humans.  We will die with the Earth, condemning the human race to extinction.  The next plan involves Mars.  We will terraform Mars and slowly begin to move off of the Earth.  We continue to have communication with Earth until it comes time for us to leave our first home altogether.  Then, we can hope to survive the Sun’s explosion, but ultimately isolate ourselves until the human race has to find another planet to migrate to.  The penultimate possibility involves leaving Mars as well.  Once we need to leave Mars and move onto another planet, we will colonize a planet that we have discovered can support human life, or has been terraformed.  Only this way can the human race continue to survive with a single home planet.  The final scenario involves no planet at all.  We leave Earth and populate Mars.  Then, once it’s time to leave Mars, rather than migrating to another planet, we travel forever in a plethora of city-sized ships either close together, or scattered throughout the vastness of space, avoiding the dangers that could potentially destroy us.  However, the choice will not be up to us.  Our future descendents will have to make their choices carefully, to ensure that humans survive.

Traveling into space, no matter how far we travel, will still have positive ramifications on Earth.  Even if humans only travel as far as Mars, we will still benefit from the first steps taken during our generation.  Traveling to Space will greatly affect the economic, environmental, and political aspects of our home planet.  Earth is plagued by many problems that could potentially lead to our species’ downfall before any Space travel is actually necessary.  But with Space travel, the large economic problems that Earth is facing will slowly diminish.  Space tourism will create an “explosion of new industries and jobs […].  Poverty would diminish worldwide as the growing labor requirements of the new space industries put more and more people to work” (Howerton 2)23.  With so many career opportunities created from a new industry, there could potentially be an end to poverty as any person would be able to find work.  Traveling to space would also have positive consequences on environmental aspects.  The environmental reasons would be necessary in protecting our home planet.  Once we are able to create some sort of “space-based economy, we will have the opportunity to develop new systems and technologies, and these new discoveries and inventions will filter down to Earth, improving everyone’s standard of living” (Howerton 3)24.  These new standards of living will help cut down on living expenses and our destruction of Earth.  Lastly, politically the US government will use its influence to maintain superiority in the Space Race.  Traveling to space will achieve three main goals: “to defend territory […]; to create and maintain an economic framework in which people can prosper; and to provide leadership and a sense of direction and purpose” (Howerton 3-4)25.  These main goals will help the United States maintain leadership in the future of our race.

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” were the first words uttered after humans reached the lunar surface.  What is very noticeable in this statement is that Armstrong used ‘mankind’ instead of the ‘United States of America’.  When looking back at my futuristic society, besides habitats on other planets, there was world peace.  The world will be able to unite behind a solid space program and the continued survival of our race.  Once we can come to terms with our inevitable fate on Earth, maybe countries will stop destroying the one thing we all have in common: we are the only known intelligent life forms that we know of.  Becoming extinct from causes other than those of what will happen in billions of years is unacceptable.  Space travel and world peace directly affect one another.  We can not sit by and wait for our end to come.  We need to decide what actions we are going to take, and then fulfill our destiny as travelers in Space.

Works Cited

Chandler, David L. “Final Frontier: Space Tourism Prize Gives Space Tourism A Boost”. Boston Globe. 19 Oct. 2004. B.9. Proquest. Brentwood School Lib., Los Angeles. 5 Dec. 2005 <http://proquest.umi.com>.

“Death flares”. Discover. 20. Apr 1999. 19. Proquest. Brentwood School Lib., Los Angeles. 5 Feb. 2006 <http://proquest.umi.com>.

Dinerman, Taylor. “Space: The Tourist Frontier”. Wall Street Journal. 22 Jan 2004. D.6. Proquest. Brentwood School Lib. Los Angeles. 5 Dec. 2005 <http://proquest.umi.com>.

Dunn, Marcia. “NASA Explores Commercial Options”. The Commercial Appeal. 8 Oct. 2001.B.3. Proquest. Brentwood School Lib., Los Angeles. 5 Dec. 2005 <http://proquest.umi.com>.

Fountain, Henry. “Observatory”. New York Times. 24 Aug 1999. F.5. Proquest. Brentwood School Lib., Los Angeles. 5 Feb. 2006 <http://proquest.umi.com>.

Howerton, B. Alexander. “Why Bother About Space?” The Futurist Jan./Feb. 1996: 23-26. SIRS Researcher. SIRS Knowledge Source. Brentwood School Lib., Los Angeles. 19 Nov. 2005 <http://www.sirs.com>.

Kelly, John and Todd Halvorson. “Bush Proposes Missions to Moon, Mars and Beyond”. Florida Today. 14 Jan. 2004. SIRS Researcher. SIRS Knowledge Source. Brentwood School Lib., Los Angeles. 19 Nov. 2005 <http://www.sirs.com>.

Koerner, David and Simon LeVay. Here Be Dragons: The Scientific Quest for Extraterrestrial Life. Oxford: University. 2000. 233.

“Mars – a new home for man?”. The Hindu. 28 Mar. 2004.1. Proquest. Brentwood School Lib., Los Angeles. 5 Feb. 2006 <http://proquest.umi.com>.

McFarling, Usha Lee. “Astronomers discover Earthlike solar system”. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 4 June 2002. 1. A. Proquest. Brentwood School Lib., Los Angeles. 5 Feb. 2006 <http://proquest.umi.com>.

Morris, Jefferson. “Safety is key factor for enabling space tourism, panel says”. Aerospace Daily & Defense Report. 216. 21 Oct. 2005. 1. Proquest. Brentwood School Lib., Los Angeles. 5 Dec. 2005 <http://proquest.umi.com>.

Ride, Sally K. “Leadership And America’s Future in Space”. [Abridged from a report to NASA]. 1987. Our Future in Space. Ed. Steven Anzovin. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1991. 126-140.

Sawaya, David B. “Space tourism: Is it safe?”. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The OECD Observer. Mar. 2004. 34. Proquest. Brentwood School Lib., Los Angeles. 21 Nov. 2005 <http://proquest.umi.com>.

“Science and Technology: One small step for space tourism…; Private spaceflight”. The Economist. 373. 18 Dec. 2004. 157. Proquest. Brentwood School Lib., Los Angeles. 5 Dec. 2005 <http://proquest.umi.com>.

Stine, Harry G. Handbook for Space Colonists. New York: Holt. 1985. 259-261.

Tierney, John. “Go West, Young Astronaut.” New York Times. 6 December 2005: A27.

Ward, Peter D. and Donald Brownlee. The Life and Death of Planet Earth: How the New Science of Astrobiology Charts the Ultimate Fate of Our World. New York: Times. 2002. 160-165.

© 2006 Philosophy Paradise