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The VisioneersHow a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future$
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W. Patrick McCray

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176291

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176291.001.0001

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Visioneering Technological Futures

Visioneering Technological Futures

(p.1) Introduction Visioneering Technological Futures
The Visioneers

W. Patrick McCray

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to explores how and why a select group of scientists and engineers developed their broad and expansive visions of how the future could be made radically different through as-yet-undeveloped technologies. It looks at how their visions for these technological futures were promoted, embraced, and rejected. The book focuses on two particular visions of the future and the ensembles of technologies seen as critical to achieving them. One of these is Gerard O'Neill's ideas for settlements and factories in space, technologies he saw as an alternative to terrestrial limits, lifestyles, and manufacturing. The other is K. Eric Drexler's plans for lunar factories, solar sails, and methods to mine asteroids for mineral resources.

Keywords:   Gerard O'Neill, K. Eric Drexler, space colony, lunar factory, solar sails, asteroids, future technology

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