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When astronaut Michael Foale said good-bye to his family on May 16, 1997 to join the Russian space station Mir, it hadn’t seemed like anything more than a routine mission. But within days of his arrival in space, everything started to go wrong. First there was a horrific collision, then a series of computer crashes which endangered the lives of the inhabitants trapped inside the ageing, orbiting module. Suddenly the dangers of space became terrifyingly real.
This collection of essays and short stories on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), compiled by president emeritus of the National Space Society Bova and Preiss, a science editor, numbers among its contributors Philip Morrison, one of the founders of the field; Frank Drake, head of the SETI Institute; writers Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. The thrust of the book is simple: with perhaps millions or billions of planets in the universe, chances favor the existence of life on some of them and, with advanced equipment and methodology, we may be able to contact that life. The scientific discussion is accessible to lay readers but many will question the felicity of including science fiction in this compendium.