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Mining The Sky: Untold Riches From The Asteroids, Comets, And Planets (Helix Book) Paperback – 23 Sep 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Revised ed. edition (23 Sept. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201328194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201328196
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 480,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

John S. Lewis, author of Rain of Iron and Ice, is professor of planetary sciences and codirector of the Space Engineering Research Center at the University of Arizona-Tucson. He has chaired international conferences on space resources and is a globally recognized expert on the subject.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 14 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
I was eagerly anticipating reading this book, and it was okay when I began, and there are many good, interesting, and even exciting ideas throughout the book. However, for some reason, I kept coming away from a reading of the book with a sort of "flat" almost bored feeling. The author himself, I support totally (especially in his involvement in the SpaceDev companies plans for "commercial space development"). I would still recommend this book to anyone intersted in space, and especially commercial development of space (esp. of course in relation to asteroids, etc.), my own feelings on reading the book nonwithstanding. Almost certainly good for those looking for expert sources, research, etc.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a pretty comprehensive look at ways in which the resources of entire solar system can be harvested rather than many other books which focus exclusively on Mars or the Moon. The explanations are pretty good, requiring no more than a basic understanding of chemistry and physics and the ideas in the book will inspire almost anyone who is unsure of the value of space. My only criticism is that although the content is very good, the style of writing can be a little uninspiring and the short stories which preceed each chapter can be a little lame.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It seems quite clear that man's future lies in the spaces between planets, employing the easily reached resources in asteroids to build habitable structures. John S Lewes, professor of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona, is the acknowledged expert on asteroids and comets, what resources they offer. He deftly compares the costs of mining near Earth asteroids (NEOs) compared to winning materials and water from the Moon. Lewes indulges himself with quirky forewords to may chapters written from the perspective of the next century, which I found rather off-putting, until justified by material in the later chapters.

Lewes is keen for readers to grasp the astronomical numbers, explaining for instance that shared equally between the 7 billion people on Earth today, your own share of the iron in asteroids is worth £5 billion. Or that if we chose to build an O'Neil cylindrical habitat 5 miles in diameter, there are resources enough to make it several billion miles in length - if you chose to drive your car from one end of the cylinder to the other, the trip might take 30,000 years. And Lewes estimates we have resources to accommodate 10 million times Earth's current population.

I read that Deep Space Industries, a business formed in January 2013 with the aim of mapping and commercially exploiting asteroids, has more recently made John S Lewes their chief scientist.

This is a facinating book with mind-boggling ideas all carefully explained. It cannot help but change your view about the problems that confront people with earth-bound horizons.
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By A Customer on 22 Jan. 1998
Format: Paperback
Mr. Lewis, Professor of Planetery Science at the University of Arizona knows his stuff when it comes to outer space and its natural resources and how to economically get there and how to make a profit from them.
Readers will be amazed at the enormous wealth that lies within just a few short Astro-Units from Earth.
The comment from Space News is that the book is "mind stretching" and it certainly is. The book is a real page turner and the technical stuff is easy and fun to understand.
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