With plans to launch hotels into orbit and experiments in suspending and reanimating life for ultra-long-distance travel, private companies and entrepreneurs have outpaced NASA as the leaders in the new space race. With accessible prose and relentless curiosity, Chris Impey reports on China's plan to launch its own space station by 2020, proves that humans could survive on Mars and unveils cutting-edge innovations such as the space elevators poised to replace rockets at a fraction of the cost. Setting mankind's urge towards exploration in the context of all human history and space travel thus far, he shows that the present-day scientists mapping billions of Earth-like exo-planets are the descendants of the first humans to venture out of Africa. We must forge ahead, argues Beyond, because exploration is in our DNA.
Chris Impey is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona. In addition to his critically acclaimed books How It Began and How It Ends, he has written two astronomy textbooks and has won many teaching awards. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.