Book Review: Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Great Age of Discovery by Stephen J. Pyne | Science News

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Book Review: Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Great Age of Discovery by Stephen J. Pyne

Review by Alexandra Witze

By
10:40am, July 16, 2010

What with Mars rovers that tweet and space telescopes with Facebook fan pages, one might think space exploration today is just another part of modern life. In this new book, however, environmental scholar Pyne reminds readers of the rich cultural history that underlies humankind’s exploration of the cosmos.

To frame his story Pyne chooses the twin Voyager missions, launched in 1977 to study Jupiter and Saturn but later extended for a “Grand Tour” that also took in Uranus and Neptune. The probes, he argues, symbolize a Third Age of exploration — the first being the 15th century ocean voyages pioneered by the Portuguese and the second the land-based exploration of the 18th century, driven in large part by rivalry between England and France.

Planetar

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