The Exploration of Space
Arthur C. Clarke. Harper: 1951.
A non-fiction book by Clarke endowed with the same optimism inherent in most science fiction. He is not only sure that space exploration is possible with current technology (true), but that it will be a Great Endeavour that all humankind will rally behind (not yet true).
Imagine being a SF writer on the cusp of space exploration, though! It’s amazing how much we knew about space travel in 1951 — as if we just lacked the money, courage, or inspiration to do it.
Many of Clarke’s predictions have come true – and although they may be obvious to us today, they may not have been half a century ago. The International Space Station is in orbit, though it is behind Clarke’s time table. Just for fun (probably), he brings up some interesting points about alien life-forms at the end.