|The dream of spaceflight : essays on the near edge of infinity
|Wyn Wachhorst ; Buzz Aldrin
|New York : Basic Books, 2000
|ISBN / ISSN / EAN :
|Includes bibliographical references and index
|Manned space flight
In the tradition of Loren Eiseley, Arthur Koestler and Lewis Thomas, Wyn Wachhorst is a great rarity: an author of truly lyrical essays on science and technology. In his hands, the drive to explore space becomes a mirror on humanity's profoundest aspirations and noblest urges. "The dream of spaceflight" is a luminous mediation on the meaning of space exploration.
The five chapters present a montage of images and reflections on the dream of spaceflight and its historical meaning. The first essay , a survey of major figures from Johannes Kepler to Wernher von Braun, sees in the rise of spaceflight a metaphor of modern history as a recurrent story of transformation and rebirth. The second essay recalls the romantic vision of the decades before Sputnik, when a balance of fantasy and reality generated new artistic forms that transformed the dream of spaceflight. The third essay looks at the moon landing as the signature event of our century -the one that our descendants, a thousand years from now, will see as our greatest achievement - and the fourth offers new perspectives on the nature of wonder, suggesting that evolution and exploration are inseparable. A final essay returns to the themes of transformation and rebirth, seeing spaceflight as a cure for the withered capacity for wonder that afflicts the postmodern mind.