Book Review: Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon

Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon, by Suzanne Slade. Reviewed by Clifford R. McMurray. Especially wonderful about this children’s book about Apollo are the illustrations by Thomas Gonzales that adorn almost every page—some of the finest space art I’ve ever seen. For the beauty of the story and the artwork, Countdown has won a number of well-deserved awards, including the National Science Teachers Association award for best STEM book of 2019.

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“Just Like Starting Over”: O’Leary’s Startling New Direction

This Space Available, by Emily Carney. In last week’s This Space Available post, we introduced Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill, a Princeton physicist, who, at mid-career, was struggling to bring his ideas about space settlement to a wider audience. While we will catch up again with O’Neill in future posts in this series, this week we will revisit Dr. Brian O’Leary following 1972, the year he introduced his friend O’Neill to a large, enthusiastic audience at Hampshire College – an event which would forever impact space history.

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“Power To The People” Meets “Imagine”: O’Leary and O’Neill’s Lives Intersect

This Space Available, by Emily Carney. At this point in Brian O’Leary’s life, his path crossed with that of another working scientist who he’d previously met while “auditioning” for 1967’s astronaut group. This scientist had qualified as a finalist for that group, but hadn’t made the final cut: the soft-spoken Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill, physicist from Princeton University.

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Infamous Spaceflight Controversies: “I Guess Flying Just Isn’t My Cup Of Tea”

This Space Available, by Emily Carney. In a previous This Space Available blog post, I wrote about Dr. Brian O’Leary, the “Excess Eleven” astronaut candidate. A planetary scientist by trade, O’Leary applied for and joined NASA’s ranks in August 1967 with the overly optimistic hopes of being one of the first Mars’ astronauts – even though by the late 1960s many NASA programs, including the Apollo lunar missions, would face drastic budget cuts.

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Nimbus: Spaceflight For The Earth

This Space Available, by Emily Carney. This weekend, many of us on the United States’ eastern coast made preparations for Hurricane Dorian, the devastating tropical cyclone that has been parked over the Bahamas for close to an entire day. While Dorian’s slow speed and reluctance to turn away from Florida’s east coast have been the butt of many memes and Facebook jibes, current meteorological satellites such as GOES-16, along with ground-based radar, have provided incredible, often stunning visual data related to the historic storm.

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