Summary and Info
Human interest in the origins of life and the possibility of life on other planets extends far back into antiquity. Throughout history, each society's "creation myth" reflected that particular people's view of the extent of the universe and their place within it. Today, due to advances in space technology, the scope of those early perceptions has expanded well beyond the reaches of our solar system to the stars, vast interstellar clouds, and numerous galaxies that populate the seemingly infinite expanse of outer space. "Life in the Universe" provides a Space Age examination of the basic question: Is life, especially intelligent life, unique to Earth?This volume prepares readers for some of the revelations that space technology may yield this century by discussing the historic events, scientific principles, and technical developments that allow sophisticated robot exploring machines to visit faraway worlds in the solar system as they hunt for signs of life - existent or extinct. This book's special collection of illustrations includes historic, contemporary, and future life-hunting robot spacecraft, allowing readers to appreciate the tremendous aerospace engineering progress that has occurred since the dawn of the Space Age, and get a glimpse of what lies ahead. A generous number of sidebars include information on fundamental scientific concepts and speculative theories about alien life. Capsule biographies spotlight scientists who pioneered various aspects of exobiology.