ARTEMIS

I remember reading Andy Weir’s THE MARTIAN about a year before everyone started talking about it, and I was so excited about this book! Not only was it set on Mars, but it was sci-fi without all the aliens. What could be better than an astronaut book? I loved the way Weir incorporated great science into this book, and eventually, it made it’s way into the spotlight. (If you haven’t seen the movie, read the book instead. It’s WAY better!)

So, I’m not alone in saying where is the next book? Apparently, we won’t have to wait much longer. ARTEMIS is set to be released in November of this year, and it’s being lauded as a crime novel set on the moon, because, of course.

If you’re a library patron, start watching that catalog and get ready to place a hold. This one is going to be a heavy-holds book, I’m predicting!

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Can Neil deGrasse Tyson do any wrong?

If you know anything about the Universe, you probably learned some of it from Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s hard to search for any information online and not find one of his books or videos there to help explain. His style is always so smooth and easy to understand, and if more of school had been taught this way, we might have had billions of kids dying to get into the sciences.

In his latest book, ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY, Tyson promises to provide a basic understanding of an incredibly huge topic. And he’ll probably make it interesting, too!

If you know someone who is interested in the Universe, you might want to pick this one up as a gift. It released this week on May 2, 2017.

Apollo 8

A book making some buzz for May is APOLLO 8 : THE THRILLING STORY OF THE FIRST MISSION TO THE MOON by Jeffrey Kluger. While we are probably all familiar with the terrifying story of Apollo 13, the very first mission to the moon has not been well documented. In fact, Kluger claims this is the first telling of the mission in its entirety. No wonder so many people are talking about it!

The space race was something that heated up toward the end of the 1960’s, with both the United States, and Russia trying to be the first to get a manned mission to the moon. While many thought President Kennedy’s promise to have a US mission to the moon by the end of the decade was too lofty, NASA was pushing ahead, despite enormous technical and logistical issues (only one year before the Apollo 8 mission, three astronauts died in a tragic fire on the launch pad). But they managed to beat all the odds, and the first mission went off with minimal problems, although they did not land directly on the moon.

Author Jeffrey Kluger was Jim Lovell’s co-author on the Apollo 13 book that told the story of their harrowing mission, and this book promises to be just as riveting. It will take readers from Mission Control, into the homes of the astronauts,  from the test labs, and to the launch pad. While you might know some of the details of this exciting mission, Kluger promises to keep you on the edge of your seat.

APOLLO 8 releases on May 16, 2017.

Space.

Most of us would agree that work can sometimes feel like it lasts longer than a regular 5-day week. But what if you couldn’t leave work? NASA astronaut Scott Kelly spent 340 days orbiting in space, the longest an American astronaut has ever spent in space. In his book coming out in October, ENDURANCE, he reveals that it was not one big discovery that was the focus of his work, but all of the planned projects that he performed over those 340 days.

But one of the most fascinating projects will probably take years to analyze: the genetic differences that will appear between Kelly, and his twin brother Mark, who remained on Earth. While initial studies prove some interesting things, it will probably be years before the full extent of the data is understood. You can read a short excerpt from the book right here.

The excerpt puts you into the mindset of someone who is totally focused on his work, and not only enjoys it, but has learned how to better live on our planet now that he’s back home.

What do you think—would you enjoy living in space for that long?

To the Moon…

matt-benson-9223Just a little fun for our first Frivolous Friday post of March! SpaceX, the company that is planning on sending a manned mission to Mars in the future, has just announced that  it will send TWO people to the moon in 2018.

Now, before you start packing your bags, the two individuals have already been chosen, and they have paid a “significant” deposit to make the trip. While it won’t actually land on the moon, the SpaceX flight will last about a week, and will allow the participants lots of time to ponder life in space.

This flight will launch near Cape Canaveral, from the same launch pad as the Apollo missions. This will be the first visit to the moon in 45 years.

Would you pay to go to the moon?

Space Talk, Anyone?

LEAVING HOMEAre you an amateur astronomer? We’re hosting a fascinating talk here at the library on Monday, January 18th starting at 6:30pm, with local astronomer, Frank Hitchens.

He’ll give a 60-minute talk about space and our fascination with exploration. Weather permitting, we’ll have telescope time to look at the moon, which will be perfect for viewing if the weather cooperates.

Registration is required, so call us at 257-2702 to get your name on the list. This is a free seminar, as part of our Life-Long Learning Series. Spaces are limited.

New Horizons

Today is the day New Horizons will make its closest swing by Pluto, and the world is waiting for the photos and information. It’s going to be an amazing day!

NHHopkinsPoster_letterSize-page-001If you’ve been following NASA’s delve into the deepest parts of our Universe, it’s been a long time coming. Launched in 2006, New Horizons is the first spacecraft to reach Pluto and the Kuiper Belt…the farthest reaches of our Solar System. While it won’t land on Pluto, it is tasked with taking photos and uploading as much information to be transferred back to NASA as possible. We are finally going to see what this planet—and then non-planet—is all about.

Last week, only 10 days before the final pass, New Horizons had a bit of a technical issue which resulted in no information being sent to NASA for almost a 90 minute period. They were forced to shut down the main computer system in order to figure out the problem, but for a while, it was unclear if they’d be able to get it functioning in time to take photos or send back any information at all by the time today rolled around. Thankfully, the amazing brains at NASA managed to figure out the glitch and get New Horizons back on track.

You can read all about the mission, future missions, and what they hope to discover about Pluto at NASA’s New Horizons page right here.

For weeks, NASA has been answering fantastic questions posted by people on their Facebook page, on Twitter and through email. Questions like, “Why is it just passing by and not landing?” (Watch this quick video to find out! Hint: it has something to do with fuel.), and “How big or how small is Pluto?” (answer: it’s only about half the width of the United States).

We have lots of books about space in the library, as well as NASA, and specifically, Pluto. And if you’d like to have your own New Horizons Plutopalooza party to celebrate (maybe a fun event for the kids?), check out the information NASA has compiled on their website, complete with printable stickers, posters and more.

plutoHappy fly-by, New Horizons!  We can’t wait to see what you find!