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Planets for Man was written 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.” The authors propose to determine — on the basis of then-current biological and cosmological knowledge — whether there are other worlds where humans can survive or where human life may even now be flourishing. This volume, co-authored by RAND researcher Stephen Dole and science fiction master Isaac Asimov, certainly one of the more unusual co-authorships in RAND’s long history of research and publishing, it was based on a more technical treatise authored by Dole, Habitable Planets for Man. 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

    The Coming Search

  • Chapter Two

    Human Requirements

  • Chapter Three

    The Properties of Planets

  • Chapter Four

    Planetary Habitability

  • Chapter Five

    Probability of Habitable Planets

  • Chapter Six

    The Nearest Candidates

  • Chapter Seven

    Star Hopping

  • Chapter Eight

    An Appreciation of the Earth

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Commercial book series. Periodically, RAND Corporation researchers publish with commercial presses. These books are not available from RAND but can be requested directly from the publisher, except in cases where the rights have reverted to RAND and we have republished a new edition.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.