For thousands of years the thirst for knowledge, adventure and wealth has driven humans to elude the constraints placed on them by chance and geography. More recently, scientific and technological progress has allowed humanity to expand the frontiers of the unknown. We have walked on the Moon, sent robotic probes to Mars, Titan and even a comet, unlocked the secrets of Venus, passed through the rings of Saturn, plunged into Jupiter’s atmosphere, and identified extra-solar planets. Today we can even contemplate establishing colonies on the Moon and Mars in the not too distant future. This book tells the remarkable story of humanity’s inexhaustible desire to explore the depths of the universe and its hope and fear of finding (possibly not too alien) companions in space.
Marcello Coradini teaches Space Systems at the Universities of Genoa and Trento and has represented the European Space Agency at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, where he conducted research on Martian hydrology.