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|Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
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Author: Mary Roach
The best-selling author of Stiff and Bonk explores the irresistibly strange universe of space travel and life without gravity.Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.
Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2010: With her wry humor and inextinguishable curiosity, Mary Roach has crafted her own quirky niche in the somewhat staid world of science writing, showing no fear (or shame) in the face of cadavers, ectoplasm, or sex. In Packing for Mars, Roach tackles the strange science of space travel, and the psychology, technology, and politics that go into sending a crew into orbit. Roach is unfailingly inquisitive (Why is it impolite for astronauts to float upside down during conversations? Just how smelly does a spacecraft get after a two week mission?), and she eagerly seeks out the stories that don't make it onto NASA's website--from SPCA-certified space suits for chimps, to the trial-and-error approach to crafting menus during the space program's early years (when the chefs are former livestock veterinarians, taste isn't high on the priority list). Packing for Mars is a book for grownups who still secretly dream of being astronauts, and Roach lives it up on their behalf--weightless in a C-9 aircraft, she just can't resist the opportunity to go "Supermanning" around the cabin. Her zeal for discovery, combined with her love of the absurd, amazing, and stranger-than-fiction, make Packing for Mars an uproarious trip into the world of space travel. --Lynette Mong
|Hubble: Imaging Space and Time
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Author: David Devorkin
In the spirit of National Geographic’s top-selling Orbit, this large-format, full-color volume stands alone in revealing more than 200 of the most spectacular images from the Hubble Space Telescope during its lifetime, to the very eve of the 2008 final shuttle mission to the telescope. Written by two of the world’s foremost authorities on space history, Hubble: Imaging Space and Time illuminates the solar system’s workings, the expansion of the universe, the birth and death of stars, the formation of planetary nebulae, the dynamics of galaxies, and the mysterious force known as "dark energy."
The potential impact of this book cannot be overstressed: The 2008 servicing mission to install new high-powered scientific instruments is especially high profile because the cancellation of the previous mission, in 2004, caused widespread controversy. The authors reveal the inside story of Hubble’s beginnings, its controversial early days, the drama of its first servicing missions, and the creation of the dynamic images that reach into the deepest regions of visible space, close to the time when the universe began.
A wealth of astonishing images leads us to the very edge of known space, setting the stage for the new James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2013. Find the stunning panoramic of Carina Nebula, detailing star birth as never before; a jet from a black hole in one galaxy striking a neighboring galaxy; a jewel-like collection of galaxies from the early years of the universe; and a giant galaxy cannibalizing a smaller galaxy.
Timed for the 2008 shuttle launch and coinciding with the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first telescope, Hubble: Imaging Space and Time accompanies a high-profile exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum and will be featured on the popular NASM website.
|My Brief History
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Author: Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking has dazzled readers worldwide with a string of bestsellers exploring the mysteries of the universe. Now, for the first time, perhaps the most brilliant cosmologist of our age turns his gaze inward for a revealing look at his own life and intellectual evolution.
My Brief History recounts Stephen Hawking’s improbable journey, from his postwar London boyhood to his years of international acclaim and celebrity. Lavishly illustrated with rarely seen photographs, this concise, witty, and candid account introduces readers to a Hawking rarely glimpsed in previous books: the inquisitive schoolboy whose classmates nicknamed him Einstein; the jokester who once placed a bet with a colleague over the existence of a particular black hole; and the young husband and father struggling to gain a foothold in the world of physics and cosmology.
Writing with characteristic humility and humor, Hawking opens up about the challenges that confronted him following his diagnosis of ALS at age twenty-one. Tracing his development as a thinker, he explains how the prospect of an early death urged him onward through numerous intellectual breakthroughs, and talks about the genesis of his masterpiece A Brief History of Time—one of the iconic books of the twentieth century.
Clear-eyed, intimate, and wise, My Brief History opens a window for the rest of us into Hawking’s personal cosmos.
|The Universe in a Nutshell
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Author: Stephen William Hawking
Brand: Baker and Taylor
Stephen Hawking’s phenomenal, multimillion-copy bestseller, A Brief History of Time, introduced the ideas of this brilliant theoretical physicist to readers all over the world.
Now, in a major publishing event, Hawking returns with a lavishly illustrated sequel that unravels the mysteries of the major breakthroughs that have occurred in the years since the release of his acclaimed first book.
The Universe in a Nutshell
• Quantum mechanics
• General relativity
• 11-dimensional supergravity
• 10-dimensional membranes
• Black holes
One of the most influential thinkers of our time, Stephen Hawking is an intellectual icon, known not only for the adventurousness of his ideas but for the clarity and wit with which he expresses them. In this new book Hawking takes us to the cutting edge of theoretical physics, where truth is often stranger than fiction, to explain in laymen’s terms the principles that control our universe.
Like many in the community of theoretical physicists, Professor Hawking is seeking to uncover the grail of science — the elusive Theory of Everything that lies at the heart of the cosmos. In his accessible and often playful style, he guides us on his search to uncover the secrets of the universe — from supergravity to supersymmetry, from quantum theory to M-theory, from holography to duality.
He takes us to the wild frontiers of science, where superstring theory and p-branes may hold the final clue to the puzzle. And he lets us behind the scenes of one of his most exciting intellectual adventures as he seeks “to combine Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and Richard Feynman’s idea of multiple histories into one complete unified theory that will describe everything that happens in the universe.”
With characteristic exuberance, Professor Hawking invites us to be fellow travelers on this extraordinary voyage through space-time. Copious four-color illustrations help clarify this journey into a surreal wonderland where particles, sheets, and strings move in eleven dimensions; where black holes evaporate and disappear, taking their secret with them; and where the original cosmic seed from which our own universe sprang was a tiny nut.
The Universe in a Nutshell is essential reading for all of us who want to understand the universe in which we live. Like its companion volume, A Brief History of Time, it conveys the excitement felt within the scientific community as the secrets of the cosmos reveal themselves.
Stephen Hawking, science's first real rock star, may be the least-read bestselling author in history--it's no secret that many people who own A Brief History of Time have never finished it. Hawking's The Universe in a Nutshell aims to remedy the situation, with a plethora of friendly illustrations to help readers grok some of the most brain-bending ideas ever conceived.
Does it succeed? Yes and no. While Hawking offers genuinely accessible context for such complexities as string theory and the nature of time, it's when he must translate equations to sentences that the limits of language get in the way. But Hawking has simplified the origin of the universe, the nature of space and time, and what holds it all together to an unprecedented degree, inviting nonscientists to share his obvious awe and love of the unseen forces that shape it all.
Yes, it's difficult reading, but it's worth it. Hawking is one of the great geniuses of our time, a man whose life has been devoted to thinking in the abstract about the universe. With his help, and pictures--lots of pictures--we can seek to understand a bit more of the cosmos. --Therese Littleton
|Solar System: A Visual Exploration of All the Planets, Moons and Other Heavenly Bodies that Orbit Our Sun
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Author: Marcus Chown
Based on the latest ebook sensation developed by Theodore Gray and his company Touch Press, this beautiful print book presents a new and fascinating way to experience the wonders of the solar system
Following the stunning success of both the print edition and the app of The Elements, Black Dog & Leventhal and Touch Press have teamed up again. Solar System is something completely new under the sun. Never before have the wonders of our solar system—all its planets, dwarf planets, the sun, moons, rocky Asteroid Belt, and icy Kuiper Belt—been so immediately accessible to readers of all ages.
Beginning with a fascinating overview and then organized by planet, in order of its distance from the sun, Solar System takes us on a trip across time and space that includes a front-row seat to the explosive birth of the solar system, a journey to (and then deep inside) each of its eight planets, and even an in-depth exploration of asteroids and comets.
With hundreds of gorgeous images produced especially for this project and through a collaboration between NASA and the graphics experts at Planetary Visions Ltd. and Joe Zeff Design, Solar System gives us page after page of unique, detailed, and never-before-seen views, both photographic and computer-generated. Take a dive down into the canyons of Mars; ride across the rings of Saturn; fly over the volcanoes of Io, Jupiter's so-called Pizza Moon; and sail through the fiery loops of gas that are constantly erupting from our sun.
Every planet and moon is introduced with a big, beautiful, full-page image and a databox that shows the orbit and position of the planet or moon in relation to surrounding bodies, as well as the diameter, mass, volume, surface temperature, atmospheric makeup, and orbital period of the planet; a scale comparison graphic; and a planet cross-section for the eight planets.
Throughout, award-winning author and CalTech radio astronomer Marcus Chown explains everything to us in his easy-to understand, exciting style. The result is a gorgeous and thoroughly entertaining—not to mention educational—book.
|Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion: Tesla, UFOs, and Classified Aerospace Technology
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Author: Paul A. LaViolette
A complete investigation of the development and suppression of antigravity and field propulsion technologies
• Reveals advanced aerospace technologies capable of controlling gravity that could revolutionize air travel and energy production
• Reviews numerous field propulsion devices that have thrust-to-power ratios thousands of times greater than a jet engine
• Shows how NASA participates in a cover-up to block adoption of advanced technologies under military development
In Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion, physicist Paul LaViolette reveals the secret history of antigravity experimentation--from Nikola Tesla and T. Townsend Brown to the B-2 Advanced Technology Bomber. He discloses the existence of advanced gravity-control technologies, under secret military development for decades, that could revolutionize air travel and energy production. Included among the secret projects he reveals is the research of Project Skyvault to develop an aerospace propulsion system using intense beams of microwave energy similar to that used by the strange crafts seen flying over Area 51.
Using subquantum kinetics--the science behind antigravity technology--LaViolette reviews numerous field-propulsion devices and technologies that have thrust-to-power ratios thousands of times greater than that of a jet engine and whose effects are not explained by conventional physics and relativity theory. He then presents controversial evidence about the NASA cover-up in adopting these advanced technologies. He also details ongoing Russian research to duplicate John Searl’s self-propelled levitating disc and shows how the results of the Podkletnov gravity beam experiment could be harnessed to produce an interstellar spacecraft.
|Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 (Outward Odyssey: A People's History of S)
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Author: Rick Houston
Humanity’s first reusable spacecraft and the most complex machine ever built, NASA’s Space Shuttle debuted with great promise and as a dependable source of wonder and national pride. But with the Challenger catastrophe in 1986, the whole Space Shuttle program came into question, as did NASA itself, so long an institution that was seemingly above reproach. Wheels Stop tells the stirring story of how, after the Challenger disaster, the Space Shuttle not only recovered but went on to perform its greatest missions. From the Return to Flight mission of STS-26 in 1988 to the last shuttle mission ever on STS-135 in 2011, Wheels Stop takes readers behind the scenes as the shuttle’s crews begin to mend Cold War tensions with the former Soviet Union, conduct vital research, deploy satellites, repair the Hubble Space Telescope, and assist in constructing the International Space Station. It also tells the heart-wrenching story of the Columbia tragedy and the loss of the magnificent STS-107 crew.
As complex as the shuttle was, the people it carried into orbit were often more so—and this is their story, too. Close encounters with astronauts, flight controllers, and shuttle workers capture the human side of the Space Shuttle’s amazing journey—and invite readers along for the ride.
|National Geographic Angry Birds Space: A Furious Flight Into the Final Frontier
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Author: Amy Briggs
Brand: National Geographic
It's one small step for birds, one giant leap for birdkind...
Blast off with the Angry Birds as they fly through space on an intergalactic rescue mission! Evil space piggies have stolen their eggs and are hiding them somewhere in outer space. To save them, the Angry Birds have teamed up with National Geographic to learn all they can about planets, moons, stars, galaxies, and the mysteries of the universe. Four chapters take the readers deeper and deeper into space—each one packed with Angry Birds, astounding space photography, and fascinating "Astrofacts" and "Space Data" features that surprise and enthrall. Join the birds as they observe robots on Mars, take a spin with the Jupiter's Great Red Spot, visit where stars are born in galaxies far, far away, and look for life on strange new worlds. This official companion book to the Angry Birds Space game shows the furious fliers everything they'll need to know on their quest to explore the galaxy and rescue their precious eggs.
The book is organized into four levels, each one taking the reader and the birds farther and farther into space:
Level One. "You Are Here: What's Out There?"
Level Two. "Short Flights: The Inner Solar System"
Level Three. "Longer Journey: The Outer Solar System"
Level Four. "Flying Farther: Deep Space"
|Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
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Author: Carl Sagan
"FASCINATING . . . MEMORABLE . . . REVEALING . . . PERHAPS THE BEST OF CARL SAGAN'S BOOKS."
--The Washington Post Book World (front page review)
In Cosmos, the late astronomer Carl Sagan cast his gaze over the magnificent mystery of the Universe and made it accessible to millions of people around the world. Now in this stunning sequel, Carl Sagan completes his revolutionary journey through space and time.
Future generations will look back on our epoch as the time when the human race finally broke into a radically new frontier--space. In Pale Blue Dot Sagan traces the spellbinding history of our launch into the cosmos and assesses the future that looms before us as we move out into our own solar system and on to distant galaxies beyond. The exploration and eventual settlement of other worlds is neither a fantasy nor luxury, insists Sagan, but rather a necessary condition for the survival of the human race.
"TAKES READERS FAR BEYOND Cosmos . . . Sagan sees humanity's future in the stars."
|A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science
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Author: Michael S. Schneider
|The Universe May Be a Mystery,|
But It's No Secret
Michael Schneider leads us on a spectacular, lavishly illustrated journey along the numbers one through ten to explore the mathematical principles made visible in flowers, shells, crystals, plants, and the human body, expressed in the symbolic language of folk sayings and fairy tales, myth and religion, art and architecture. This is a new view of mathematics, not the one we learned at school but a comprehensive guide to the patterns that recur through the universe and underlie human affairs. A Beginner's Guide to Constructing, the Universe shows you:
- Why cans, pizza, and manhole covers are round.
- Why one and two weren't considered numbers by the ancient Greeks.
- Why squares show up so often in goddess art and board games.
- What property makes the spiral the most widespread shape in nature, from embryos and hair curls to hurricanes and galaxies.
- How the human body shares the design of a bean plant and the solar system.
- How a snowflake is like Stonehenge, and a beehive like a calendar.
- How our ten fingers hold the secrets of both a lobster and a cathedral.
- And much more.
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