Voyager: Exploration, Space, and the Third Great Age of Discovery

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Penguin, Jul 22, 2010 - Science - 464 pages
A brilliant new account of the Voyager space program-its history, scientific impact, and cultural legacy

Launched in 1977, the two unmanned Voyager spacecraft have completed their Grand Tour to the four outer planets, and they are now on course to become the first man-made objects to exit our solar system. To many, this remarkable achievement is the culmination of a golden age of American planetary exploration, begun in the wake of the 1957 Sputnik launch. More than this, Voyager may be one of the purest expressions of exploration in human history.

For more than five hundred years the West has been powered by the impulse to explore, to push into a wider world. In this highly original book, Stephen Pyne recasts Voyager in the tradition of Magellan, Columbus, Cook, Lewis and Clark, and other landmark explorers. The Renaissance and Enlightenment-the First and Second Ages of Discovery- sent humans across continents and oceans to find new worlds. In the Third Age, expeditions have penetrated the Antarctic ice, reached the floors of the oceans, and traveled to the planets by new means, most spectacularly via semi-autonomous robot. Voyager probes how the themes of motive and reward are stunningly parallel through all three ages. Voyager, which gave us the first breathtaking images of Jupiter and Saturn, changed our sense of our own place in the universe.
 

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User Review  - Othemts - LibraryThing

I've long been fascinated by the Voyager missions to explore the solar system. I kind of grew up alongside Voyager, with the launches occurring just a few years after my birth and the encounters with ... Read full review

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User Review  - brewbooks - LibraryThing

Stephen Pyne does an excellent job illuminating the nature of modern space exploration. Another area that I will need to read again to understand is the relationship of modern space exploration to ... Read full review

Contents

JOURNEY OF AN IDEA
JOURNEY ACROSS THE SOLAR
Beyond the Inner Planets
JOURNEY TO THE STARS
Beyond Narrative
Beyond Tomorrow
Appendix
Notes
Sources
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Stephen J. Pyne is a professor of history at Arizona State University, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and winner of the 1995 Los Angeles Times Robert Kirsch Award for Arts and Letters. His book The Ice was named one of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year. His eleven groundbreaking books include the five-volume Cycle of Fire. He lives in Glendale, Arizona.

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