The era of space tourism is upon us The space shuttle company Virgn Galactic plans to offer 'up and down, out of the atmosphere and back' space travell to tourists beginning in 2008. Humans should be able to visit the Moon, Mars and its moons, the moons of Jupiter, asteroids, comets, and space stations in the years ahead. But if most of people really had any idea of the myriad dangers involved on a journey into deep space, they might think twice. In this book, astronomer and physics professor Neil Comins presents a dizzying yet realistic look at the travails one might face in space, including zero gravity, equipment failure, and possible profound readjustment difficulties after returning to life on Earth. The book paints a harrowing picture of the realities of outer space, but with an inventive and refreshingly light touch. Through passages from a fictional Captain's spaceship log, readers follow Captain Thor Rheingold on his journeys through deep space and learn firsthand' what it takes to navigate the galaxy. Comins deftly interweaves Rheingold's entertaining and useful fictional log with hard science for an engaging, informative, and fascinating look at the ultimate in x-treme tourism, teaching readers about their place in the universe along the way.