Colonies in Space, by T. A. Heppenheimer

Colonies in Space Heppenheimer Book Cover Art
Cover illustration by Don Dixon courtesy Stackpole Books

Complete online book by T. A. Heppenheimer

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Copyright 1977, 2007 by T. A. Heppenheimer

The National Space Society is proud to present this online edition of the complete text of the 1977 hardcover edition of the landmark book, Colonies in Space. The key ideas are presented in Chapter 2, with the rest of the book an elaboration on those ideas. We were not able to obtain permissions for many of the illustrations, but were able to include the nice color plates in the center of the book. See also our review of this book and our page about the author.

COMMENTS ON THIS BOOK: ISAAC ASIMOV: “How warm and delightful to read about an expanding future for humanity! Mr. Heppenheimer takes us into the infinite world of the coming space age and tells us everything there is to know about it, as of this moment.”

RAY BRADBURY: “Colonies in space? Yes, of course. Why not? Let’s go there. Let’s do the job. But scores of doubting Thomases repeat the question. Mr. Heppenheimer answers it on many levels in this book….Mr. Heppenheimer is keeper of the key, opener of the gate, tender of the gardens we will toss to space and inhabit with proper proportions of sorrow and joy. He offers you citizenship in the Universe. How can you refuse?”

Table of Contents

Color Plates

Chapter 1 – Other Life in Space

Chapter 2 – Our Life in Space

Chapter 3 – Power from Space

Chapter 4 – Hope for the Future

Chapter 5 – First of the Great Ships

Chapter 6 – The Moon-Miners

Chapter 7 – Construction Shack

Chapter 8 – The Highest Home

Chapter 9 – Up on the Farm

Chapter 10 – Ventura Highway Revisited

Chapter 11 – What’s to Do on Saturday Night?

Chapter 12 – The Shell of the Torus

Chapter 13 – University of Space

Chapter 14 – The Next Million Years

Chapter 15 – Ring Around the Sun

Chapter 16 – Colonizing the Stars


The High Frontier

These lyrics were written by John Stewart and T. A. Heppenheimer to replace the original words of the song “The New Frontier,” written by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio in 1962 to honor President John F. Kennedy.

Some to the rivers and some to the sea,
Some to the soil that our fathers made free,
Then on to the stars in the heavens for to see,
This is the High Frontier, this is the High Frontier.

Let the word go forth, from this day on
A new age of mankind has begun.
Hope will grow for the human race!
We’re building a colony deep in space!
This is the High Frontier, this is the High Frontier.

Let us begin, for it shall take long,
Let everyone sing a freedom song.
Not for ourselves that we take this stand,
Now it’s the world and the future of Man.
This is the High Frontier, this is the High Frontier.

The day will come, it’s going to be,
A day that we will someday see
When all mankind is reaching out
Without a limit, without a doubt!
This is the High Frontier, this is the High Frontier.


Dedication: To John F. Kennedy

My thanks to the people who have contributed to this book, or who have furnished unpublished material for my use. Among the latter are Mark Hopkins, J. Peter Vajk, Gerard O’Neill, Gerald Driggers, Carolyn and Keith Henson, Pat Hill, Eric Hannah, Gene Shoemaker, Eleanor “Glo” Helin, and Brian O’Leary. Particular thanks go to Don Dixon and Pat Hill, for artistic and architectural services of the highest quality; to Richard Johnson of the NASA Ames Research Center, where so much of the material of this book was developed; and to my agent, Richard Mesce.

A number of people have reviewed parts of the manuscript, or have helped me with source material, or else have expressed their continuing interest through valuable discussions. Among these are Ray Bradbury, Barbara Hubbard, Stewart Brand, Robert M. Powers, Eric Burgess, Don Wilhelm, Nancy Williamson, Rita Lauria, R. T. Jones, Eric Drexler, B. J. Long, Ed Kennedy, Don Davis, Clark Chapman, Dave Fradin, Jesco von Puttkamer, Richard Hoagland, Robert Salkeld, and Carolyn and Keith Henson.

Finally, special thanks go to Wilbur Nelson, Peter Goldreich, and Gerard O’Neill, without whom I might never have gotten involved in space colonization in the first place.

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