Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Habitable Planets For Man

Robert J. Sawyer points out the classic 1964 study by the Rand Corporation, Habitable Planets for Man (or as Sawyer calls it "the world-building bible") by Stephen H. Dole, is now available as a free pdf.

The description from the download page:
An attempt to make an estimate of the probabilities of finding planets habitable to man, where they might be found, and the number there may be in our own galaxy. The characteristics of a planet that can provide an acceptable environment for man are presented in detail. The stars nearest the earth, most likely to possess habitable planets, are itemized. The author also discusses special and unusual planets that may be discovered, how new environments might affect people who migrate to them, how to search for habitable planets. He also gives an appraisal of the earth as a planet and describes how its habitability would be changed if some of its basic properties were altered. An attempt to make an estimate of the probabilities of finding planets habitable to man, where they might be found, and the number there may be in our own galaxy. The characteristics of a planet that can provide an acceptable environment for man are presented in detail. The stars nearest the earth, most likely to possess habitable planets, are itemized. The author also discusses special and unusual planets that may be discovered, how new environments might affect people who migrate to them, how to search for habitable planets. He also gives an appraisal of the earth as a planet and describes how its habitability would be changed if some of its basic properties were altered.
Sounds like a useful reference if you are building a world for humans or human-like aliens.

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