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what are not legitimate questionsworthy of scientificinvestigationor artisticpursuit ?One has only to think of Galileo’s confrontationwith the Church to realiie how futile is the act of suppressing“bad questions.”By the same token, the ludicrousexperimentswith photogenic masochism and sadism,as found in Mapplethorpe, and the horrors unleashed by value-free modem science,as in Bhopal and Love Canal,make one wish impossiblyfor an all-knowing, benign and all-powerful institution that could curb the most pernicious aspectsof human inventiveness.But then, the Churchmen must have believed that they representedjust such an institution when they showed Galileothe instruments of torture. References 1. S. Gould, ”Jensen’s Last Stan&,“ N m Y d M e w o f Books,May 1980. 2. R. Lewontin, “Further Remarks on Race and the Genetics of Intelligence,” in Block and Dworkin, eds., The IQ Controversy (London: Quintet Books, 1977). 3. A. Jensen, Genetics and Education (New York: Harperand Row, 1972). 4. Rudolf Arnheim. To the %cue ofArt: TwenlySix Essuys (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1992). See review of this book in this issue of Lzonurdo.Ed . 5. R. Hughes, “Art, Morality and Mapplethorpe,” NmYorkMmofBooks39,No.8 (23April1992). BLUEPRINT FOR SPACE: SCIENCEFICTION TO SCIENCE FACT by FrederickI. Ordway I11and Randy Lieberman. SmithsonianInstitution, Washington, D.C, U.S.A., 1992.ISBN: 1-56098-072-9. Reviewed by RogerF. Malina, Centerfm E WAstrophysics, University o f Calijimia, Berkelq, CA 94720, U.S.A. Thisis a book that accompaniesthe exhibition Blueprintfor Space,organised by the Space and Rocket Center. The exhib it and the book recount the links between the visions of spacepioneers and the actual developmentof space explorationin the 50years afterWorld War 11.It is a wellconstructed and -illustrated book. The book sectionsinclude ‘Trom Dream to Reality,”in which the dreamsof space travel by philosophers, artistsand science-fiction writers from antiquityto the present are described. Thesevisionaries prepared the spaceera by making spacean attractiveand plausible canvasfor human exploration.Part Two of the book, ”Rocketryand Space Flight,”recounts the work of the engineers and inventorsthat led to feasible technologyfor leaving the earth. Section Three, ‘The GoldenAge of Space Travel,”includesarticlesby some of thosewho participatedin the U.S. space program that led to the firstmoon landing . The final section is ‘WhereDo We Go from Here?”and includesessaysof possible future scenariosby American space-programparticipants. A key sectionof the book, written by Randy Lieberman,describes the important Colliermagazinearticlesthat coupled authorities such asJames Van Allen, Hubertus Strughold,Fred Whipple,Joseph Kaplan,Heinz and Fritz Haber and WernherVon Braun with the three excellentillustrators Chesley Bonestell,Fred Freeman and RolfKlep. The first issue of the series appeared in March 1952with the headline “ManWill Conquer Space Soon.” Readershipfor the seriesof articleswas over 10million. Coming shortlybefore the Sovietlaunch of Sputnikin 1957, these articles created a cultural context for what was to follow.The illustrations created a romantic and glorifiedview of human exploration of space. Following the Collierarticles,Walt Disney issued a seriesof three television shows: “Manin Space,”“Manand the Moon,”and “Mars and Beyond.”An importantviewer of these showswas U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower,who borrowed copies of the films,which were shown to officials at the Pentagon in 1955.The television audiencefor the serieswas estimatedat 100millionviewers. There is no doubt that these articles and filmswere instrumental in creatinginterest and support for space exploration. With the end of the ColdWar, space has lostits specialinterestas an area of superpowercompetition. The last sectionsof the book underline the uncertaintiesin the future of space exploration.Clearly, the technologyfor an ambitiousspace-colonisationprogram exists-what is in doubt is the politicalwill to follow a program that will culminate in a long-term commitment. Many of the space enthusiastsargue in this book that concerns about the global environment,overpopulationand limits to growth create a new rationale for space explorationand exploitation.Yet the former U.S. President George Bush and his vice president,Dan Quayle,both space enthusiasts,were unable to mobilise the vision with the necessary resourcesto create a new sustained impulse into space. The book is an important addition to the rather small body of literaturethat examinesthe cultural contextfor space exploration.I cannot help but mention one shortcoming of the book-it almost totally omitsmention of the independent U.S. rocketryeffortsthat started at the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
p. 266
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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