Blasting Off to Space Academy

Blasting Off to Space Academy

by Susan E. Goodman, Michael J. Doolittle
     
 

What's the best part of being an astronaut? Is it the excitement of leaving the Earth behind at the mind-boggling speed of 25,000 mph? Is it the chance to float around a shuttle in zero gravity? Or make new scientific discoveries? Or go out on a space walk?

Few of us get to answer these questions for ourselves by rocketing into space. But a group of kids took

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Overview

What's the best part of being an astronaut? Is it the excitement of leaving the Earth behind at the mind-boggling speed of 25,000 mph? Is it the chance to float around a shuttle in zero gravity? Or make new scientific discoveries? Or go out on a space walk?

Few of us get to answer these questions for ourselves by rocketing into space. But a group of kids took the first step by going to U.S. Space Academy. For close to a week, they tried on flight suits and the lives of training astronauts. They used NASA simulators and learned how to walk on the Moon and how to work without gravity. They walked, talked, read, lived space travel.

Then, they blasted off on a mission of their own....

Susan E. Goodman and Michael J. Doolittle bring the adventures of science and space travel alive in the fifth book of the Ultimate Field Trip series. Vivid storytelling and photos help readers don mental space suits and go along for the ride.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Ever wanted to know what it would be like to be an astronaut? Join author Susan Goodman, a former Space Camp participant, as she follows the kids of Team Europa through their U.S. Space Academy experience. Written in a lively style highlighted by quotes from the team members and amply illustrated with terrific color photographs, this account of a week-long plunge into the astronaut's world will captivate even the most science-phobic reader. In their short time at space camp, the Team Europa kids have a blast practicing moon walks in the 1/6 gravity chair; simulating weightlessness in the Space Shot ("an elevator with an attitude"); figuring out how to live in cramped space quarters; building rockets and team spirit; and finally planning and carrying out a "mission". The story is so entertaining that readers will scarcely notice how much science is included, making this book an excellent supplement to the middle school science curriculum. The book ends with a useful glossary and short bibliography . It is part of the Ultimate Field Trips series. 2001, Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster, $17.00. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Joyce Schwartz
Children's Literature - Susan Hepler
A group of middle schoolers--ecotourists from western Michigan--are followed on a week-long trip to the rainforests of Peru. There they explore bio-diversity, interact with tribesmen and school children, trade with the Yaguas, and visit the marketplace where they buy a baby sloth in hopes of returning it to the wild. But then they discover that without its mother it can't survive, and people might continue to try to sell cute baby animals to tourists. "Be careful of the message you send with your dollars," they hear--a worthwhile and unusual message in books for this age. Responsible tourism, rainforest diversity, the tacit message of adventure and taking risks, plus winning photography make this appealing to upper elementary grades. The pictures and text are enlivened with quotes from the children and their journals. A useful read-aloud for elementary children studying the rainforest and a good introduction to the "Ultimate Field Trip" series. 1999 (orig.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This book follows student trainees through a weeklong session at the U.S. Space Academy in Huntsville, AL, as they are exposed to what it takes to become an astronaut and to the inner workings of the entire space program. Trainees get to wear space suits, experience zero gravity, and learn how to work cooperatively in an atmosphere much like walking in space. They study the International Space Station's design and its significance. A culminating activity has teams of trainees work together in different roles as they experience an actual space mission. Varied-colored pages, replete with outstanding full-color, captioned photos, are artistically appealing as well as informative. Sidebars include quotes from the youngsters and an "Amazing Space Facts Countdown" (beginning with 10 and counting down to liftoff) that describes various aspects and historical occurrences within the program. This is an appealing offering for general readers and for browsing.-Betsy Barnett, Eads School District, CO Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A dozen young teens undergo simulated astronaut training in this fascinating photo journal that's packed with information on NASA space flights, training equipment, and kid comments about the rigor and excitement of preparing for space travel. Students experience extreme force in the Space Shot, try walking in reduced gravity using the Gravity Chair, and launch their own shuttle, Endeavour, from a simulated Mission Control Station. They develop problem-solving skills working with Legos, and develop teamwork, attempting to construct a cube of PCB pipes underwater. Each page has full-color photographs of the teens using the specialized training equipment and exploring real space modules. There are Amazing Space Facts side boxes, and photographs from NASA astronauts on space missions. Quotes from the participants enliven the text, and the author also imparts odd and interesting facts about how real astronauts manage eating, sleeping, showering, keeping clean, keeping cool, and urinating in space. Written with abundant good humor, this is a really attractive addition to the series with lots of kid appeal. (glossary, bibliography, acknowledgments for sources, no index) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689830440
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
05/01/2001
Series:
Ultimate Field Trip Series
Edition description:
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
10.29(w) x 8.31(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

To research her various books and magazine articles, Susan E. Goodman has snowshoed through mountain forests, tried using a blowgun in the Amazon, and scared a moose at rest — and herself in the bargain. Years ago, she went to U.S. Space Camp as a participant and loved the 1/6 Gravity Chair. Ms. Goodman lives with her family in Boston, Massachusetts.

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