Amid a century devastated by war, space exploration was perhaps mankind's greatest achievement of the twentieth century.
Yet remarkably, in a world where most technology progresses constantly, space exploration appears to have gone backwards.
Man has not returned to the moon since 1972; the space shuttle programme has finished and not been replaced; much-vaunted promises of space tourism have not become realistic.
In this remarkable book, David Ashford looks back at the story of space exploration, identifying the factors that were a driving force behind the eye-catching programmes of the cold war, and showing how now new driving forces are needed.
Using his own extensive experience as a practitioner and researcher of space exploration, Ashford then outlines a new, realistic roadmap for achieving the new space age soon and at an affordable cost.
This accessible and readable book will appeal both to students and general readers, giving a fascinating introduction to space exploration - and what matters most about it.