NASA SOLAR SYSTEM AMBASSADORS - Southern Illinois
Nationwide volunteers who share the excitement of NASA's space exploration missions and recent discoveries with their communities
Comments and views expressed by Solar System Ambassadors are our own and in no way reflect the opinions or policies of the various individuals or agencies for whom we volunteer.
Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journey
In Carrying the Fire, Michael Collins conveys, in a very personal way, the drama, beauty, and humor of piloting the Apollo 11 spacecraft to the moon in July 1969. He also traces his development from his first flight experiences in the Air Force, through his days as a test pilot, to his Apollo 11 space walk, presenting an evocative picture of the joys of flight as well as a new perspective on time, light, and movement from someone who has seen the fragile earth from the other side of the moon.
The phenomenal true story, as told by Margot Lee Shetterly, of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space—a powerful, revelatory history essential to our understanding of race, discrimination, and achievement in modern America.
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
Chris Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff.
Failure Is Not An Option: Mission Control from Gemini to Apollo 13 and Beyond
Gene Kranz, Flight Director in Mission Control, recounts the thrilling historic events from Gemini to Apollo and beyond. What appeared as nearly flawless missions to the Moon were, in fact, a series of hair-raising near misses. When the space technology failed, as it sometimes did, the flight controllers’ only recourse was to rely on their skills and those of their teammates. He reveals behind-the-scenes details to demonstrate the leadership, discipline, trust, and teamwork that made the space program a success.
Chasing New Horizons
Chasing New Horizons is the story of the men and women behind this amazing mission to Pluto as 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.
Andy Weir taps into his engineering experience to write a fictional story about a mission to Mars where things don't go as planned.
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
In this gripping insider account of the Apollo 8 mission, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight.
Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Now, he takes us inside a sphere utterly hostile to human life. He describes navigating the extreme challenges of long-term spaceflight—the devastating effects on the body, the isolation from everyone he loves and the comforts of Earth, the pressures of constant close cohabitation, and the catastrophic risks of depressurization or colliding with space junk.
The Astronaut Wives Club
As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. Lily Koppel tells the story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history.
Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
With his signature wit and thought-provoking insights, Neil deGrasse Tyson—one of our foremost thinkers on all things space—illuminates the past, present, and future of space exploration and brilliantly reminds us why NASA matters now as much as ever. As Tyson reveals, exploring the space frontier can profoundly enrich many aspects of our daily lives, from education systems and the economy to national security and morale. For America to maintain its status as a global leader and a technological innovator, he explains, we must regain our enthusiasm and curiosity about what lies beyond our world.
How did Albert Einstein come up with the theories that changed the way we look at the world? By thinking in pictures. Michio Kaku, leading theoretical physicist (a cofounder of string theory) and best-selling science storyteller, shows how Einstein used seemingly simple images to lead a revolution in science.