In this book, Giovanni Bignami, the outstanding Italian scientist and astromer, takes the reader on a journey through the seven spheres , from our own planet to neighboring stars. The author offers a gripping account of the evolution of Homo Sapiens to the stage where our species is developing capabilities, in the form of new energy propulsion systems, that will enable us to conquer space. The reader will learn how we first expanded our activities to reach beyond our planet, to the Moon, and how nuclear energy, nuclear fusion, and matter-antimatter annihilation will enable us to extend our exploration. After Mars and Jupiter we shall finally reach the nearest stars, which we w kw are surrounded by numerous planets, some of which are bound to be habitable. The book includes enticing descriptions of such newly discovered planets and also brings alive key historical characters in our story, such as Jules Verne and Werner von Braun.
Prof. Giovanni Fabrizio Bignami, born in Desio, Italy in 1944, is one of Europe's leading researchers in astrophysics. He is a former Director of Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements in Toulouse and is currently Head of the Italian Institute for Astrophysics and President of COSPAR, the world-wide Committee on Space Research. He is also President of The National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) and has received various awards, including the Rossi Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the Blaise Pascal Medal of the European Academy of Sciences and the von Karman Award of the International Astronautics Academy. He is an Officier de la Legion d'Honneur and a member of the Accademia dei Lincei and the French Academie des Sciences. Professor Bignami is one of the most authoritative scientists in astrophysical and space research and identified the neutron star Geminga. He is the author of several previous well-received books. With Springer, he has previously published We are the Martians (in English and German), and Imminent Science (2014).