The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up a Future of Limitless Possibility (book review)

Євген Мірошниченко

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? These questions are eternally unanswered. But they encourage us to search. They encourage us to reach beyond the horizon, hoping to find some clues over there.

Robert Zubrin, The Case for Space in Ukrainian — Bookchief, 2021. – 432 p.

Zubrin’s book reminds us that journeys beyond the horizon lead us in a circle. It is by definition. The matter is that the horizon is the circular line that we see as a result of lowering our eyes to the ground instead of looking up. And The Case for Space lures us up to that open space where there is no horizon as such, but only an incomprehensible infinity stretching in all directions.

Robert Zubrin is a space engineer, so he knows very well what is happening in this area right now; and what we will be able to do in the near future; and what we are most likely to be capable of in decades and centuries to come. And this are not just fairy flights of fantasy. These are forecasts of an engineer and a scientist. Although, an extremely passionate engineer and scientist.

This is a popular science book, but it is no less exciting than the best science fiction, because lots of things described are happening right next to us — we just have to look around. Zubrin states that the time has come for the birth of a new humanity: homo cosmicus (cosmic man) is coming into the world.

This book is an invitation to all earthlings to participate in the most exciting adventure in human history. Or, if you personally don’t take part in this project, then at least be aware of miracles unfolding — just watch this cosmic saga live and cheer for our new Columbuses…

Zubrin notes that expansion into outer space is not just our right, not just a bold project of restless souls — but our immediate duty to life itself. The fact is that before the appearance of the first organisms, the Earth was not at all adapted to life as we know it today. There was no soil for plants to grow in… there wasn’t even free oxygen to breathe—it was all bound up as oxides, and a long biochemical process was required to release it into atmosphere. What we see around us today is the result of terraformation. In fact, the life itself gradually reshaped our planet in such a way that humans could appear here — the beings able to move this project forward on. That is, it is reasonable to admit, that cosmos itself for some reason needed to animate the stone that we now call the Earth. So isn’t it our direct duty to continue expanding beyond this tiny blue ball—crossing the abyss… filling the abyss with ourselves? Providing that we really love this world for some reason and love our fleeting life in it…