Only twenty-four people have seen the whole earth. The most beautiful and influential photographs ever made were taken, almost as an afterthought, by the astronauts of the Apollo space program from the moon. They inspired a generation of scientists and environmentalists to think more seriously about our responsibility for this tiny oasis in space, this “blue marble” falling through empty darkness.
The Earth Gazers is a book about the long road to the capture of those unforgettable images. It is a history of the space program and of the ways in which it transformed our view of the earth and changed the lives of the astronauts who walked in space and on the moon. It is the story of the often blemished visionaries who inspired that journey into space: Charles Lindbergh, Robert Goddard and Wernher Von Braun, and of the courageous pilots who were the first humans to escape the Earth's orbit. These twenty-four people saw Earth in all its singular glory, and the legacy of the stories of these "Earth Gazers," resonate richly even today.
Christopher Potter was publisher and managing director at the independent publishing house Fourth Estate. He is the author of You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe. He divides his time between London and New York City.
A substantial 'Chronology of Events' and a narrative history outline the key events and people in the progression of space research and activity. Five topical essays--including a look at the Space Shuttle--examine several significant issues related to the politics and technology of space exploration from an international perspective. These chapters elucidate several sets of documents that give shape and substance to the larger story. Primary documents in this volume are organized by theme and represent the variety of materials available to anyone seeking a better understanding of the rise of space exploration. Also included are biographical sketches of key people associated with space flight, a listing of the human space flight missions undertaken since 1961, and an annotated bibliography of additional reading.
Based on extensive research and first-person interviews, this is a complete history of the Faith 7 flight and its astronaut. Cooper later gained notoriety following the release of the movie, The Right Stuff, in which he was depicted by Dennis Quaid, but Burgess discovers there was even more drama to his story. It completes the "Pioneers in Early Spaceflight" subseries in fitting fashion.
“A personal, brilliant, and often amusing account . . . . An idiosyncratic, encyclopedic blitzkrieg of a book.” —The Boston Globe
“The Verdict: Read.” — Time
Christopher Potter’s You Are Here is a lively and accessible biography of the universe—how it fits together and how we fit into it—in the style of science writers like Richard Dawkins, Bill Bryson, and Richard Feynman, as seen through the lens of today’s most cutting-edge scientific thinking.
On July 14, 2015, something amazing happened. More than 3 billion miles from Earth, a small NASA spacecraft called New Horizons screamed past Pluto at more than 32,000 miles per hour, focusing its instruments on the long mysterious icy worlds of the Pluto system, and then, just as quickly, continued on its journey out into the beyond.
Nothing like this has occurred in a generation—a raw exploration of new worlds unparalleled since NASA’s Voyager missions to Uranus and Neptune—and nothing quite like it is planned to happen ever again. The photos that New Horizons sent back to Earth graced the front pages of newspapers on all 7 continents, and NASA’s website for the mission received more than 2 billion hits in the days surrounding the flyby. At a time when so many think that our most historic achievements are in the past, the most distant planetary exploration ever attempted not only succeeded in 2015 but made history and captured the world’s imagination.
How did this happen? Chasing New Horizons is the story of the men and women behind this amazing mission: of their decades-long commitment and persistence; of the political fights within and outside of NASA; of the sheer human ingenuity it took to design, build, and fly the mission; and of the plans for New Horizons’ next encounter, 1 billion miles past Pluto in 2019. Told from the insider’s perspective of mission leader Dr. Alan Stern and others on New Horizons, and including two stunning 16-page full-color inserts of images, Chasing New Horizons is a riveting account of scientific discovery, and of how much we humans can achieve when people focused on a dream work together toward their incredible goal.
• Description of the design.
• Overview of the history of the concept and the people involved.
• Why it was never developed and flown
• What if the mission was actually carried out – consequences, further developments, etc.
Leland Melvin is the only person in human history to catch a pass in the National Football League and in space. Though his path to the heavens was riddled with setbacks and injury, Leland persevered to reach the stars.
While training with NASA, Melvin suffered a severe injury that left him deaf. Leland was relegated to earthbound assignments, but chose to remain and support his astronaut family. His loyalty paid off. Recovering partial hearing, he earned his eligibility for space travel. He served as mission specialist for two flights aboard the shuttle Atlantis, working on the International Space Station.
In this uplifting memoir, the former NASA astronaut and professional athlete offers an examination of the intersecting role of community, determination, and grace that align to shape our opportunities and outcomes. Chasing Space is not the story of one man, but the story of many men, women, scientists, and mentors who helped him defy the odds and live out an uncommon destiny.
As a chemist, athlete, engineer and space traveler, Leland’s life story is a study in the science of achievement. His personal insights illuminate how grit and grace, are the keys to overcoming adversity and rising to success.