Reviews

"Salto nello spazio", by Michael Martin-Smith, a book for Astronautics, had been published

by Adriano Autino

Title: "Salto nello Spazio"
Author: Michael Martin-Smith
Editor: Tre Editori - Roma
Series: Tre Fuochi Storia e Pensiero - december 1999
Pages number: 251
Price: Lit. 28.000
ISBN: 88-86755-43-0
Reviewed by: Adriano Autino
Date: 23/01/2000

If you meet Michael Martin-Smith, you could not avoid being striken by his optimism an great happiness for life. If you stay with him for few time, you can see that is impossible to get him angry. If you work with him, you will see that is very difficult hearing by him a negative comment. And this does not dipend only on his indisputable english behaviour. In this little plump english doctor, perhaps 1.60 m. tall, is contained the biggest charge of human liking and positive mind I never met before! Once we were at dinner together in Melbourne, for IAF congress in 1998, and I was trying, I don’t know why, to tell a story about Cip and Ciop, the rascal squirrels ingaged to play nasty triks to Donald Duck. As I didn’t know the English names of Cip e Ciop, I started to speak about Donald Duck, about nuts, also gesticulating, to allow others understanding me (the dinner was near the end, the wine was good enough, considering the fact that we were on the other part of planet). Suddenly Michael understood, and he did a so realistic imitation of a squirrel eating nuts that all people get to laugh!

Reading a book written by a friend is not like reading a book written by an unknown person. As we know very well his favourite subjects, his ideas and also his obsessions, you could lie in wait for him, you could read his work by thinking: OK, now he’s going to say this, then he prepares him-self to say this other thing. In short, it is very difficult being striken, finding surprises worty of wonder. Well, inspite this fact Michael’s book has astonished me. I knew that it was beautyful, but not so beautyful. I knew, knowing the quantity of work preceding the publishing, that it had to be rich, but not so rich of datas, of punctual references, informative rigour. In his own way, "Salto nello spazio" is a monumental work, that joins together in a single volume un olistic and multidisciplinary picture that composes a clever and coherent reasoning, from the beginning to the end. Telling about the beginning of life on our planet, then about the appearence of the intelligent life, Micheal Martin-Smith bring us, without shock and with great scientific rigour, to understand the astronomical evolution of cosmos, and to see the destine of humanity in it, the last purpose of intelligent life as we know it. But the author doesn’t stop him-self at this, though great, intuition. As a doctor and a biologist Martin-Smith outlines a biological paradigm, not only evolutionistic, and he push his attention over the dilemma about the adaptability of human being in extraterrestrial environments, predicting the possible bio-cultural evolution of humanity in space.

The book contains other things: I didn’t tell you everything, now I leave to you the pleasure to discover it! I want still underline that the book lists meticolously the projects and the researchs about SSTO (Single Stage to Orbit) and other "hot" subjects for people who is interested to astronautics.

You can find the book, published by TRE EDITORI, Rome, since december 1999 in every bookshops at L. 28.000.

On my hand, I want to underline that Michael Martin-Smith, very active to promote the astronautical humanist movement in the whole world, is part of the editorial staff of Technologies of Frontier (http://www.tdf.it), where you find a lot of his articles, and that TRE EDITORI is going to publish in 2000, my book "L'Astronautica Mercantile".

Adriano Autino

[English translation by Massimiliano Autino]