Romance to Reality: moon & Mars plansby David S. F. Portree
It is part of the nature of man to start with romance and build to a reality.
I retired Romance to Reality on July 8, 2006 in order to apply its content to my print projects.
I launched Romance to Reality in August 1996. By mid-2005, the website included more than 400 summaries of classic, seminal, and illustrative moon & Mars planning documents from the period 1950-2003. The site aimed to educate people about the challenges and opportunities of moon & Mars exploration.
Romance to Reality succeeded beyond my expectations. Tens of thousands of people around the world visited the site. It inspired artists and authors and aided students, filmmakers, scientists, and engineers. It was cited in books, scholarly papers, and NASA publications. Romance to Reality also spun off a NASA-published history (Humans to Mars: 50 Years of Mission Planning, 1950-2000, February 2001), popular-audience magazine articles, and invited talks across the United States.
Thanks to everyone who helped make Romance to Reality a success.
The voyage continuesRomance to Reality is gone, but my efforts to record and share the history of moon & Mars exploration planning continue. I am currently at work on three books.
While you await these books, please visit my homepage, where you will find excerpts from Romance to Reality, two chapters from the 2001 edition of Humans to Mars, my 1997 article "The New Martian Chronicles," encyclopedia articles on the Soviet lunar program and Mars bases, and much else besides.
The story of the dreams and the unbuilt spaceships for flights to Mars should be recorded so that in the future people can examine past ideas of space travel just as we can examine the unconsummated ideas of Leonardo da Vinci by reading his notebooks. Years from now people should be able to decide for themselves whether they want to go to Mars or if they prefer to stay earthbound. But let us not destroy the dream, simply because we do not wish to pursue it ourselves.
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