Seven Wonders of Space Technologyby Fred Bortz
From earliest times, humans have looked to the sky in wonder, and their wonder and curiosity fueled science. Ancient peoples built enormous temples and monuments to observe the sun and track the movement of stars. And as scientific knowledge expanded, technologies grew more sophisticated. Each development changed the way we viewed our place in the universe. But no
From earliest times, humans have looked to the sky in wonder, and their wonder and curiosity fueled science. Ancient peoples built enormous temples and monuments to observe the sun and track the movement of stars. And as scientific knowledge expanded, technologies grew more sophisticated. Each development changed the way we viewed our place in the universe. But no technology changed our understanding more than the ability to launch scientific equipmentand human explorersinto space. In this book, we'll explore seven wonders of space technology. Scientists and engineers have built vehicles and equipment to explore the farthest reaches of the solar system. Orbiting satellites and telescopes have given us everything from more accurate weather reports to glimpses back to the beginning of the universe. International teams have built an orbiting space laboratory and are working on plans for human lunar settlements and missions to other planets. Learn about the people and the science behind these amazing advances in space technology.
Meet the Author
After a 25-year career as a physicist, Fred Bortz turned to full-time writing in 1996 after his third book for young readers, Catastrophe! Great Engineering Failureand Success (Scientific American Books for Young Readers, 1995), was designated a Selector's Choice on the National Science Teacher's Association's list of Outstanding Trade Books for Children. His books for Lerner imprints include: Techno-Matter: The Materials Behind the Marvels (Twenty-First Century Books, 2001, winner of the 2002 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award for works intended for young readers and selected for several best books lists); Collision Course! Cosmic Impacts and Life on Earth (Millbrook Press, 2001, a School Library Journal Top Ten Science and Technology book); Astrobiology (Cool Science series, 2008); Seven Wonders of Exploration Technology (Twenty-First Century Books, 2010); and Seven Wonders of Space Technology (Twenty-First Century Books, 2011).
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n the blink of an eye technology can change the way we have been thinking about our universe for years, even hundreds of years. Galileo Galilei's seventeenth century observations of the heavens through his telescope drastically challenged the geocentric views of his peers who adamantly claimed that the Earth was the center of the universe. Conversely other scientists of renown have had their work challenged and sadly dismissed as fallacy once newer technology has made startling discoveries. Take for example the work of Percival Lowell. In 1894 he "knew that Mars was closer to Earth than it would be for several years" and he set out to closely observe the planet in his observatory. He saw an amazing array of logically placed lines that indicated, to him at least, that there was intelligent life on Mars. Sadly for him, his assumptions were proven wrong in the 1960s when what he saw as interconnecting lines that looked like "canals" proved to be a series of craters when close-up pictures were taken. The difficulty of selecting technological wonders is a daunting task at best as "We know that by selecting only seven, we are leaving out hundreds of other remarkable tools and machines used to explore the secrets of the universe." The young reader will be astounded as his imagination soars with the innovative technology that is now allowing us to see into the far reaches of our universe. Specifically Dr. Bortz has chosen to explore the Great Observatories, the International Space Station, some "down-to-earth" satellites, Moon bases (including water), Mars rovers, the "New Horizons" spacecraft, and futuristic technology. This amazing book will keep the young science student exploring its technological wonders for hours. I was mesmerized as I read through this expert selection of Dr. Bortz's "wonders." Perhaps my hands down favorite was the exploration of the moon as scientists searched for water. I, like many students will, had my own hypothesis as to why the craters proved to be smooth and if there was indeed sufficient water to support human colonists. The book marvelously lays out scientific fact, but also subtly asks the reader to think, assimilate material, and "work" with the scientists as they attempt to solve mysteries. There was one editorial error in a caption, one in which Dr. Bortz had no control over. He is challenging the young reader to be a science detective and contact him through his website when he or she finds it. There are well-chosen photographs, numerous informative sidebars, and art reproductions scattered throughout this marvelous book. In the back of the book is an index, a glossary, a timeline, a selected bibliography, source notes, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore. Quill says: If you have a future scientist or astronaut in your classroom or household, this is one you'll definitely want to add to your collection!