Enlarge / Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the spacecraft’s Ralph instrument to create this enhanced color global view of Pluto. (credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University/SWRI)
Humanity’s expansion into the Solar System seems to be a recurrent theme around here. We dedicated a podcast to The Expanse and reviewed the book Beyond Earth, which imagines humanity colonizing Saturn’s moon Titan. Recently, we got a chance to look at a different take on humanity’s travels to other worlds, one that goes a step beyond political drama and existential threats.
Instead, it’s all about planetary tourism.
Set up like a travel guide, with chapters for each planet and Pluto, Vacation Guide to the Solar System imagines a future in which people spend a couple of decades to do a round-trip to Saturn and don’t want to miss any of the major sights when they get there.
And, while Vacation Guide is anything but a hard science book, you’ll probably end up smarter for having read it. Which is the entire point.
Guerillas in space
The book’s authors, Olivia Koski and Jana Grcevich, belong to a group called Guerilla Science, which uses art, installations, performances, and more to try to insert a little science into the lives of people who weren’t necessarily looking for it.
The group started the Intergalactic Travel Bureau as a bit of a performance—members of Guerilla Science would act as travel planners and ask people what they were interested in before suggesting a planet that would suit those tastes.
Eventually, the made-up bureau morphed into an actual storefront in Manhattan.
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