Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Friday, April 18, 2008


We mentioned this 1984 book, by William K. Hartmann, Ron Miller & Pamela Lee, back in November of 2006 and having received an e-mail from Dr. Hartmann, have re-read it and looked again at the beautiful pictures.

I find it interesting to compare where folks thought we might be in the year 2000 and where we are now that it is already 2008. There were predictions that we would be running out of our natural resources. All the oil is not gone, but the price is over a $100 a barrel, so something to consider.

Events have slipped a bit but much has been accomplished. We have communication satellites, cell phones, and the Internet. We are connected and we are part of an ever growing global economy. Do you raise cattle, sugar cane or soy beans, here or over there or down under?

Going to space hasn't always matched time tables as predicted, but a lot has happened since 1984. I no longer have a job, for one. :-)

The Galileo spacecraft did finally get launched, not the way described in the book, but launched and mission completed.

There is a mission to Saturn.

We have nations with their spacecraft orbiting the Moon and more planned.

Mars has several missions on going.

There is a mission to Pluto and to Mercury.

A big question that remains open is whether humans will go to all these places that writers have described and space nicks have dreamed about.

Launching humans to orbit and beyond costs a lot of money and not many will get to participate first hand.
Launching rovers and orbiters has let a lot of folks look at what they can do, so at least the dream is being kept alive.

In countries that have the resources and money to launch these kinds of missions, we aren't starving yet, and we still drive our cars, but we haven't launched humans to Mars either. Spacecraft have touched down on an asteroid but no mining started.

In the countries that might want other resources developed, they don't have the money and finding their next meal is more important than looking up to the Moon and Beyond.

How this all plays out in the future will probably be in the hands of the kids coming up through the educational system.
Will they have the dream?

Some have said we can't or shouldn't be thinking of sending humans to space.
I don't think it hurts to dream, and dreaming comes before drawing up plans.
As kids we dream and we aren't afraid to build things out of cardboard boxes.
Building spaceships takes a lot more money, but the dream still needs to be there.
So I say, Dare to Dream.

If you have not read "Out Of The Cradle" may I suggest you take a look at or
as Bill mentions, the PSI website. (although I see the "GRAND TOUR" and not "Out Of The Cradle")

There are 68 available from 1 cent plus $3.99 shipping and handling. (Soft cover) :-)

You might just catch the dream.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "William K. Hartmann" <>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 12:26:34 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Out of the Cradle
Greetings --

I was checking (on the web) the publication date of my book, Out of the Cradle, when your site turned up as the first reference. Glad to see my book was of interest to you.

That book had an interesting history. (Feel free to share this!) It didn't do nearly as well as it's companion book, Grand Tour, which is now in its third edition 25 years later, but in a way it was more a labor of love and more prescient and (sez me) maybe more important. Grand Tour is pure "science" of the solar system, a tour of the planets, but Out of the Cradle is about what humans might do in the solar system. Out of the Cradle was not only an early account of asteroid resources and solar power satellite possibilities, but one of the first (maybe the first?) to consider seriously that then-popular "Club of Rome"-style projections of Earth resources, assumed a finite-sized economic system -- the Earth; and that therefore the availability of space-based resources might change the whole picture.

I think the Club of Rome projects, viewed within that limitation, were essentiallly true. If we limit Earth's economy to Earth itself, and consider resource bases and population/lifestyle/consumption trends, it's not hard to project that serious disruptions in lifetyle and economic conditions will occur in the mid-21st century. We may be starting to see the beginnings of that. For example, for the first time, not just environmentalists but also petroleum company geologists have begun to talk about an imminent flattening of planetary petroleum production. We argued that our society will have to deal with that either in a smooth evolutionary way (if we get busy and deal with it) or with a catastrophic disruption (if we stay asleep at the switch.)

One of our points in Out of the Cradle was that the "free" 24/hour/day solar energy flow accessible in space, and the known presence of metal resources in asteroids, might start to change all that, if we can figure out a way to access and distribute those resources.

As you noted, the book is still available at Amazon, and it is also available direct from Workman Publishing in New York. We also have autogrpahed copies from the "bookstore" at our non-profit Planetary Science Institute (See

Cheers (I guess!) -- and thanks for your interest!

Bill Hartmann
Senior Scientist
Planetary Science Institute, Tucson

What I think Bill found from post back in November of 2006. - LRK -

Out of the Cradle: Exploring the Frontiers Beyond Earth
by William K. Hartmann, Ron Miller, Pamela Lee

Well I think I found the book I had copied pages out of that dates back to 1984.

What had caught my eye was the many paintings of scenes on the Moon
with human figures portrayed.

Since what I have here is only a black and white copy I thought I
would order the book.

I see that William K. Hartmann is an astronomer, writer, and painter.

You can see some of his works on-line.
- LRK -
Bill Hartmann's Home Page
My creative work in the last few years has been divided among three
areas: scientific research at PSI, my paintings, and my writing. I am
currently on the imaging team of NASA's Mars Global Surveyor mission.
My paintings include astronomical scenes (used for magazines, book
covers, etc.) and my writing includes popular science books and two
recent novels. You can explore all these efforts in more detail by
clicking on the listings below


Dr. Hartmann responded to these comments. - LRK -

With the price of fuel going up every time I get gas one would think that developing resources from space would be of more interest. Copper at $4.00 a pound it creating a lot of concern for folks that get their wiring ripped off. We use to complain about the Amazon forests being cut down for cattle and now it is for soy beans to make alternate fuels. The price of corn is going up because it is being to make ethanol. (and subsidized as well)

My wife, Sangad, is Thai and so we go through a lot of rice. A 50 pound bag use to cost $17, then $22, last bag cost $30 and has been reported at $50 in the SF Bay area. In Thailand we have had complaints of high food prices because it costs more to fuel the tractors. (not so many water buffalo pulling plows)

As a kid I was thrilled with Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon and Saturday Matinees with Gene Autry. The illustrations in the Colliers magazine and books like yours gave you something to stick in your mind and wish for.'s_Weekly

Hi Larry,

Good old Colliers articles about the von Braun mission designs, with Bonestell's paintings! I had them when I was a kid, along with The Conquest of Space by Willy Ley and Chesley Bonestell.

I had an interesting experience in during a meeting at the Huntsville NASA center. They have an archive of von Braun's papers and I found some magazines in which von Braun wrote series of articles aimed at kids, explaining principles of rocketry and space flight -- and picking them up triggered a memory that I had copies of them as a kid, too. As a result of those articles by von Braun, Ley, and others, I recall reading about, and asking my teachers around 7th grade about, parabolas, gravity, mass ratios of payload to vehicles, etc. What it really makes me wonder about is: who is producing that kind of material today. There's a tremendous number of interesting documentaries on TV, but it is mostly designed as rapid fire visual material to entertain, & it's not clear to me if much real science or technology comes across. Of course...I recognize too that in every generation there's a tendency that as one gets older, one starts complaining that "kids today" and society in general are going to wrack and ruin!

Maybe the main thing about my email and your email is that it's important to have people articulate a vision of what can be done. I think that was the main result of, for instance, Bonestell's famous cover painting on The Conquest of Space in 1949, showing that silver rocket on the moon. It's amazing when I ask among my science colleagues of that generations, and the NASA engineers who put Apollo on the moon, how many of them had that book when they were 10 or 14, and were inspired by it!



PS (Feel free to share above if you want to post it).



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