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Abstract

Habitable Planets for Man examines and estimates the probabilities of finding planets habitable to human beings, where they might be found, and the number there may be in our own galaxy. The author presents in detail the characteristics of a planet that can provide an acceptable environment for humankind, itemizes the stars nearest the earth most likely to possess habitable planets, and discusses how to search for habitable planets. Interestingly for our time, he also gives an appraisal of the earth as a planet and describes how its habitability would be changed if some of its basic properties were altered. Habitable Planets for Man was published at the height of the space race, a few years before the first moon landing, when it was assumed that in the not-too-distant future human beings “will be able to travel the vast distances to other stars.” More than forty years after its initial publication, and to celebrate RAND’s 60th Anniversary, RAND is proud to bring this classic work back into print in paperback and digital formats.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Human Requirements

  • Chapter Three

    Introduction to General Planetology

  • Chapter Four

    The Astronomical Parameters

  • Chapter Five

    Probability of Occurrence of Habitable Planets

  • Chapter Six

    The Nearest Candidates

  • Chapter Seven

    Star Hopping

  • Chapter Eight

    An Appreciation of the Earth

  • Chapter Nine

    Human Destiny

  • Appendix

    Data on the 25 Principal Bodies of the Solar System of Mass Greater Than 1023 Grams

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