Earth from Space by Yann Arthus-BertrandFrom space, Earth is a magnificent sight, splashed with vivid colors, patterns, textures, and abstract forms. Views from above can also provide telling information about the health of our planet. To help us understand the more than 150 breathtaking satellite photographs in Earth from Space, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, an aerial photographer and devoted environmental activist, discusses the impact of deforestation, urban sprawl, intensive farming, ocean pollution, and more. Using high-resolution imagery, we can monitor the evolution of vegetation around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site, snow loss on Mount Kilimanjaro, and the health of migratory bird populations. Earth from Space’s compelling selection of satellite images raises important questions about our future, while also showcasing the planet’s beauty—leaving no doubt that it is something crucial to protect.
The Interstellar Age by Jim BellThe story of the men and women who devoted their lives to the Voyager Spacecraft mission. The twin Voyager spacecraft are our farthest-flung emissaries, 11.3 billion miles away from the crew who built and still operate them, decades since their launch. Their fantastic journey began back in the '70s - before the first episode of Carl Sagan's legendary television series, Cosmos, aired. The mission was planned as a grand tour beyond the moon; beyond Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn; and maybe even beyond our solar system. The fact that it actually happened, that the Voyagers, after making numerous discoveries and capturing astoundingly clear images of the outer planets and moons, are now entering interstellar space and still sending signals back, makes this humanity's greatest mission of exploration ever. In The Interstellar Age, award-winning planetary scientist Jim Bell reveals what drove and continues to drive the members of this extraordinary team, including Ed Stone, Voyager's chief scientist and the one-time head of NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory; Charley Kohlhase, an orbital dynamics engineer who helped to design many of the critical slingshot maneuvers around planets that enabled the Voyagers to travel so far; and an array of expert astrophysicists, geologists, and technicians, as well as not-yet-expert undergraduate and graduate students. Speeding through space at a mind-bending eleven miles a second, the Voyagers are now beyond our sun's planets. They carry with them artifacts of human civilization. By the time one of them passes its first star in about 40,000 years - and indeed for 100 million years after that - the gold record on each spacecraft, containing music and images, including Chuck Berry's 'Johnny B. Goode,' Bach's Brandenburg Concerto, and an Azerbaijani bagpipe tune, will still be playable. Maybe a passing alien who can follow the instructions regarding how to play this ultimate 'concept album' will listen in - or maybe it will be some future explorers from Earth who overtake our very first interstellar voyagers. In any case, thanks to Jim Bell, now is the time to enjoy a ride far beyond any that humans have previously made. Praise for The Interstellar Age 'In The Interstellar Age, Professor Jim Bell celebrates Voyager - NASA's most famous space probe. In this task, Bell not only shines as a leading planetary scientist, but you get the sneaky feeling he knew the probe personally, serving in this case as Voyager's personal biographer to the benefit of us all.' Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and author of Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier 'Come along with Dr. Bell on an extraordinary adventure. He loves to travel. He relishes a long voyage. He doesn't mind leaving home forever and never coming back. If it involved a once-in-a-lifetime journey through the cold emptiness of space, so much the better, as long as the ports of call are planets - up close and personal. These voyages changed what we know of the cosmos and our place within it. Jim Bell's story will change you, too.' Bill Nye, CEO of the Planetary Society and author of Undeniable 'The Interstellar Age is dawning, and this book recounts the saga of humanity's greatest solar system exploration on the way out. Part scientific autobiography, part top-notch science writing, Jim Bell's book is a welcome addition to the history of the Voyager missions.' Jon Lomberg, cocreator of Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record 'Everyone loves Voyager, and every few years the plucky spacecraft give us yet another reason to remind
The Ordinary Spaceman by Clayton C. AndersonWhat’s it like to travel at more than 850 MPH, riding in a supersonic T-38 twin turbojet engine airplane? What happens when the space station toilet breaks? How do astronauts “take out the trash” on a spacewalk, tightly encapsulated in a space suit with just a few layers of fabric and Kevlar between them and the unforgiving vacuum of outer space? The Ordinary Spaceman puts you in the flight suit of U.S. astronaut Clayton C. Anderson and takes you on the journey of this small-town boy from Nebraska who spent 167 days living and working on the International Space Station, including more than forty hours of space walks. Having applied to NASA fifteen times over fifteen years to become an astronaut before his ultimate selection, Anderson offers a unique perspective on his life as a veteran space flier, one characterized by humility and perseverance. From the application process to launch aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, from serving as a family escort for the ill-fated Columbia crew in 2003 to his own daily struggles—family separation, competitive battles to win coveted flight assignments, the stress of a highly visible job, and the ever-present risk of having to make the ultimate sacrifice—Anderson shares the full range of his experiences. With a mix of levity and gravitas, Anderson gives an authentic view of the highs and the lows, the triumphs and the tragedies of life as a NASA astronaut.