Rocket Dreams by Marina Benjamin
Finished reading on April 30th, 2014
This book deals with the space-age dreams that some of the optimists had mostly in the second half of the twentieth century in the USA. Among those are space colonies, the Roswell incident, going to Mars and further with manned missions, finding extraterrestrial life etc.
I very much liked the concept of the book – showing what were some of the most commonly held dreams beginning from around 1960. and what happened to them as reality hit.
It was certainly interesting to read about the Apollo astronauts and their preoccupation on the Lunar missions with the blue marble of the Earth and the homesickness, stumbling on Earth months later as they could keep their eyes away from the sky…
And then you can read about the dreams of colonies and habitats in space and dreams of further manned exploration in space that until today have not taken shape.
Definitely another dream is the one that is the goal for SETI – the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence – I found that part quite interesting, and Benjamin goes into quite a lot of detail in writing about SETI@home.
However there is an inherent sadness to all of it and you can find surprisingly parts about cyberspace in the book and the Roswell weather balloon incident etc…
Overall it was quite an interesting read, although I did get annoyed reading about Roswell, as well as reading about Alphaworld, the latter of which didn’t make any sense for pages – I kept thinking “what does that have to do with anything?”.
In case of Roswell – the author isn’t a “believer” (nor am I), but it seems a bit too far from the general flow of the book. Describing the incident, the people who “saw the aliens”… No thank you, I presume there are enough books that go into sufficient detail the same way talking with the locals etc. Is it really necessary to have it in this book as well? Maybe for the sake of increasing sales…
Ofcourse I’m preconditioned to tense up when I hear “Roswell” mentioned at work, as it’s a sign of trouble… (as are “horoscope” and any mention of a conspiracy ).