A buoyant but slapped-together look at current and future efforts to get more people into space.
This brief survey includes a quick history of space flight, mentions of and quotes from several astronauts or actual space tourists and enticing glimpses of space hotels, a space elevator and possible tourist destinations on other planets. Unfortunately, this enticing subject is bogged down by incomplete explanations and occasionally misleading claims. Readers will be unenlightened by the author’s non-explanation of zero gravity and perhaps actively confused by the introduction of the term "microgravity." Further, one section implies that Bigelow Aerospace is simply in the space-hotel business (a claim denied on the company’s site) rather than the more complex commercial venture it is. Mora’s bland painted representations of the space shuttle, SpaceShipOne and other craft don’t measure up to photos and commercially produced graphic images easily found elsewhere. Five low-tech projects seek to complement the material, ranging from a doable cardboard centrifuge to a challenging multi-stage balloon rocket and a “space vacation plane” so complex that all the instructions had to be moved to an online site.
McMahon’s enthusiasm for his topic may get readers off the ground—but not into orbit. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)