Dr. Wesley T. Huntress, Jr., is currently Director Emeritus at the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The author was the widely respected Director of NASA’s Solar System Exploration Directorate from 1990 to 1992, and then Associate Administrator for Space Science from 1993 to 1998, where he was responsible for all of NASA’s robotic science missions. During this time, and throughout his long and distinguished career, Dr. Huntress, Jr. has had a regular and sustained contact and interaction with the Russians. He has gained great appreciation of the Russian robotic exploration program of the Moon and the planets during the 20th century.
Mikhail Marov is a long-time veteran of the Soviet scientific space program with experience on many past missions beginning the early 1970s and is currently at the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry in Moscow, one of the two principal scientific institutes involved in the Russian space program. He is well known internationally and is one of the most recognizable Russian experts in space science and exploration around the world.
The Twenty-first Century in Space, the sixth book in the series, explores how the fledgling partnership between the United States and Russia in the 1990s gradually bore fruit and laid the groundwork for today’s International Space Station. The narrative follows the convergence of the Shuttle and Mir programs, together with standalone missions, including servicing the Hubble Space Telescope, many of whose technical and human lessons enabled the first efforts to build the ISS in orbit. The book also looks to the future of developments in the 21st century.
• Description of the design.
• Overview of the history of the concept and the people involved.
• Why it was never developed and flown
• What if the mission was actually carried out – consequences, further developments, etc.
Brian Harvey concludes by looking forward to future Russian planetary exploration (e.g Phobos Grunt sample return mission). Several plans have been considered and may, with a restoration of funding, come to fruition. Soviet studies of deep space and Mars missions (e.g. TMK, Aelita) have much to offer contemporary planners in Europe and the United States. Long-duration ISS and Mir missions provide a medical record of considerable value in constructing human exploration of Mars.
Illustrated with the photographs taken by Soviet Venus and Mars probes, pictures of the spacecraft, diagrams of the flight paths and landing techniques and maps of the landing sites, the book will build on the published scientific papers from the programme, archived material and memoirs and other material coming to light in recent years.