GIFTS FROM SPACE: How Space Technology Is Improving Life on Earth by L. B. Taylor

GIFTS FROM SPACE: How Space Technology Is Improving Life on Earth

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Itself a spin-off from Taylor's 1974 adult book For All Mankind, this undisguised pitch for the space program surveys various medical, safety, industrial, communications, and other devices and systems we owe to NASA and related R & D. Taylor gives a fuller explanation of many of the items--especially the multi-purpose satellite monitors now in use--than does Colby in his Space Age Spin-Offs (1972), and this is a cooler looking book--but it proves to be just as hard a sell. Taylor opens with two dramatic medical rescues: one was accomplished with an astronaut-type pressure suit that kept a woman from bleeding to death, another used satellite communication, routed through California, to bring an ambulance plane to an Alaskan child with acute appendicitis. Similar devices, he asserts later, are ""helping wipe out illiteracy all over the world,"" and he notes that ""many scientists"" compare the 1972 launching of ""orbiting prospector"" Landsat I to the invention of the wheel and the discovery of fire. But the cited spin-offs that come closest to most of our lives (freeze-dried coffee, plastic-wrapped meat) aren't all that impressive; those that are only make you wonder what could be accomplished if the same all-out investment we've made in the space program were applied directly to human health, food, energy, and communication problems.

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 1977
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell