|About the Book|
The book presents a unique overview of activities in human spaceflight and exploration and a discussion of future development possibilities. It provides an introduction for the general public interested in space and would also be suitable for students at university. The book includes the basics of the space environment and the effects of space travel on the human body. It leads through the challenges of designing life support systems for spacecraft as wells as space suits to protect astronauts during extravehicular activities. Research being carried out by humans in Earth orbit is being brought into context to other forms of space exploration. Between the end of 2007 and May 2009 ESA, the European Space Agency, carried out an astronaut recruitment process. It was the first time that astronauts had been recruited newly to the corps since its creation in 1998 and the positions were open to citizens of all of the member states of ESA. Two of the contributors to this book participated in the selection process and hence contribute to a general discussion of how one carries out such a selection programme. The book concludes with one person s experience of flying aboard the space shuttle on a mission to map planet Earth, bringing together topics taken up in earlier parts of the book.