Space exploration and colonization - Towards a space faring societyDevelopment trends of space exploration and colonization since 1957 are reviewed, and a five-phase evolutionary program planned for the long-term future is described. The International Geosphere-Biosphere program which is intended to provide the database on enviromental changes of the earth as a global system is considered. Evolution encompasses the anticipated advantages of such NASA observation projects as the Hubble Space Telescope, the Gamma Ray Observatory, the Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility, and the Cosmic Background Explorer. Attention is given to requirements for space colonization, including development of artificial gravity and countermeasures to mitigate zero gravity problems; robotics and systems aimed to minimize human exposure to the space environment; the use of nuclear propulsion; and international collaboration on lunar-Mars projects. It is recommended that nuclear energy sources be developed for both propulsion and as extraterrestrial power plants.
Hammond, Walter E. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Sverdrup Technology, Inc. Huntsville, AL, United States)