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Stephen Baxter's Titan novel

Posted by: koxinga - Fri Oct 29, 2004 9:02 am
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Stephen Baxter's Titan novel 
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Post Stephen Baxter's Titan novel   Posted on: Fri Oct 29, 2004 9:02 am
I am into page 35 of this novel and I was pretty amazed it was written in 1997.

Anyway, i thought it was appropriate to talk about this novel since the setting is NOW. It is about how the Cassini/Hyugens probe discovered possible life on Titan on the 6 Nov 2004. What a concindence.

He made a couple of guesses for this novel that appear to have bought off. There is a Soyuz style chinese space mission on a Long March and the main character was assemblying the ISS on space shuttle Columbia (who commented on the poor condition of the space shuttle and NASA/spaceflight going downhill). There is even a NASA administrator who's private thoughts was how to wind down NASA gradually as he felt there is a lack of interest from Congress and the general public.

Unfortunately, one of this predictions did not come true. Bill Gates was not dethroned from Microsoft due to poor results! 8)

[edit]Finished page 70. In those few pages, Columbia was lost during re-entry...


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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 29, 2004 9:32 am
This partly reminds me to "Return to Tiber" Aldrin has been co-authir of.

The last available Shuttle falling into the Atlantic Ocean american and human space exploration is interrupted and no way out is to be seen.

In that situation an entrepreneur offers private space flights to the general public, earns money by this and invests it to increase the capabilities of his vehicles. One day his vehicles can reach the ISS and do scientific service. That's the time when artificial signals from Alpha Centauri are detected at the ISS. ...



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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:35 pm
Interesting I should pick up these works, they are not so much science fiction than fact? I'm a fan of Isaac Asimov so I'm sure theyd peak my interest.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:42 pm
They are very realistic. Baxter's novel seems to be based on facts - "Return to Tiber" is based on studies and ideas to be found at the NIAC-site. Aldrin himself had the idea of astronaut hotels floating between Mars and Earth before he participated in writing that novel as co-author. I don't know wether that part of the stoory I mentioned is based on the XPRIZE but it may be.



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Post Re: Stephen Baxter's Titan novel   Posted on: Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:23 pm
koxinga wrote:
I am into page 35 of this novel and I was pretty amazed it was written in 1997.


All of those things were known in 1997 - Cassini was already well on it's way, although he got the Titan insertion time out by about 3 months. The Long March project Soyuz clone was not finalized, but quite likely, and the ISS was already firmly on the drawing board.

Shame about Bill Gates though, although the chances of predicting Columbia was lost in re-entry are pretty low - not a bad guess. I imagine he probably felt quite shocked when it actually came true. Any new trajedies for us to look forward to?

On a side note, shame he didn't think of the X Prize :)

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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 30, 2004 2:44 am
Sev,

You don't really want to see his predictions in the book come true... I do not want to give the plot away, but it is really depressing and is a cautionary tale of what would happen if the general public lost its interest in space issues and humanity losing faith in science.

I am recommending this book not just as a simple sci-fi fare. The themes he touches on are fundamental and relevant in the present discussion on space, religion and politics.


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