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Space Exploration For Dummies [Paperback]

Cynthia Phillips PhD , Shana Priwer

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Book Description

29 May 2009 0470445734 978-0470445730 Original
A comprehensive guide to man′s achievements in space As NASA celebrates more than 50 years of space exploration, Space Exploration For Dummies examines the scientific discoveries and advancements in space exploration throughout history, from early astronomers to the International Space Station. This fully illustrated title takes readers on a guided tour of our solar system and gives them a glimpse of what lies beyond. It highlights the various advancements in technology that have allowed our exploration of space to flourish, from early rockets to hypothetical space elevators. It also examines the nature of satellites and unmanned probes and how they have shaped our understanding of the universe. Readers will discover the obstacles of sending a human to Mars and ponder the question: is it time for human habitation of space?

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From the Back Cover

Your comprehensive guide to remarkable achievements in space Do you long to explore the universe? This plain–English, fully illustrated guide explains the great discoveries and advancements in space exploration throughout history, from early astronomers to the International Space Station. You′ll learn about the first satellites, rockets, and people in space; explore space programs around the world; and ponder the controversial question: Why continue to explore space? Take a quick tour of astronomy — get to know the solar system and our place in the galaxy, take a crash course in rocket science, and live a day in the life of an astronaut Run the Great Space Race — trace the growth of the Space Age from Sputnik to the Apollo moon landings and meet the robots that explored the cosmos Watch as space exploration matures — from the birth of the Space Shuttle to the creation of the Mir Space Station to successes and failures in Mars exploration, see how space programs reached new levels Journey among the planets — check out the discoveries made during historic voyages to the inner and outer reaches of the solar system Understand current exploration — review the telescopes in space, take a tour of the International Space Station, and see the latest sights on Mars Look into the future — learn about upcoming space missions and increased access to space travel Open the book and find: Descriptions of space milestones and future missions An easy–to–follow chronological structure Color and black–and–white photos The nitty–gritty details of becoming an astronaut A grand tour of the solar system through space missions Explanations of tragedies and narrow escapes Facts on the creation of space stations by NASA and the USSR Ten places to look for life beyond Earth

About the Author

Cynthia Phillips, PhD, and Shana Priwer are the coauthors of 14 books on subjects including astronomy, Einstein, da Vinci, the physics of the built environment, and a variety of other topics. Phillips works at the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute. Priwer works for an architectural/design software company.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Calling all space cadets 17 Jun 2009
By EDNA K. DEVORE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Space Exploration for Dummies" is the latest addition to the yellow-covered "Dummies" series. Researched and penned by Dr. Cynthia Phillips, planetary geologist at the SETI Institute, and her partner, Shana Priwer, professional writer, this book captures the essential facts and accomplishments of the real space cadets.

The book invites browsing. While organized into logical chapters, readers are urged to jump straight to the topic of greatest interest. In case you're a novice astronomer, there's a quick light-hearted primer on basic astronomy. Then, it's on to rocket science. Phillips and Priwer have a light touch, and write for the non-rocket scientist. This is rocketry that your grandparents could understand. Rockets carry up payloads, and often astronauts. So you want to be an astronaut? Turn to chapter 4 to learn about your ride. But, all you would-be astronauts, go on to read chapter 5 about space tragedies before consulting your life insurance agent. Like 15th century exploration of the Earth, space exploration is dangerous. People do die trying, and the history of the tragedies is both thoughtful and sobering. It honors the people who made the ultimate sacrifice in our journey to the stars.

Back to 1957: Sputnik was the first human-made satellite to orbit Earth. It was amazing to me, and still is. Over several chapters, "Space Exploration" breezes through the early days of the space race and on to Apollo, Soyuz, Mir and the Space Station. It's useful to have all of this brought together succinctly: many missions and many astronauts at my fingertips. I especially appreciated the inclusion of the 13 women who worked to become astronauts in 1960, but were excluded by NASA for lack of Air Force pilot training (something they, as women, could not obtain at the time, p. 99.) Sally Ride was the first US female astronaut in space 23 years later. Times do change.

Robots and remotely operated space telescopes are essential human tools for space exploration. The authors devote chapters to robotic exploration of the Moon, the first grand tours of the solar system in the 70's and 80's, and the newer explorers of our universe including space telescopes like Hubble. We're in the midst of this exciting journey, and Phillips and Priwer scan forward to the missions in planning and missions in dream stages. Finally for all the SETI fans, there a chapter on looking for life beyond Earth in our solar system and around distant stars. "Dummies" are known for humor, and this book closes with "tens," a nice homage to David Letterman: 10 places to look for life, 10 ways that space travel isn't like the movies, and 10 everyday things brought to you by NASA (not Tang!). So, space cadets, teachers, kids and interested people, you'll find "Space Exploration for Dummies" a fun read and handy reference.
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