Islands in the Sky: Bold New Ideas for Colonizing Space

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Islands in the Sky: Bold New Ideas for Colonizing Space (Stanley Schmidt and Robert Zubrin, eds., Wiley, 1996, ISBN 0-471-13561-5) is a book composed of a collection of factual articles on space colonization, several from recognized experts in the field.

The articles range from colloquial to fairly technical, occasionally deriving results after a series of calculus equations. Their subject matter ranges from colonization of the inner solar system to the outer solar system and interstellar colonization, and from novel application of well-understood engineering principles, to speculative physics theories. It includes five articles authored or co-authored by Zubrin; other notable authors include Robert L. Forward, Martyn J. Fogg, and Christopher McKay. The book is also notable for including a publication of Robert Zubrin's Mars Direct mission architecture (first formulated in 1990), which was soon expanded into a book of its own, The Case For Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must, and which provided the impetus for the founding of the Mars Society.