Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

Audiobook(MP3 on CD - Unabridged)

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Overview

America’s space program is at a turning point. After decades of global primacy, NASA has ended the space-shuttle program, cutting off its access to space. No astronauts will be launched in an American craft, from American soil, until the 2020s, and NASA may soon find itself eclipsed by other countries’ space programs.

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.

Provocative, humorous, and wonderfully readable, Space Chronicles represents the best of Tyson’s recent commentary, including a must-read prologue on NASA and partisan politics. Reflecting on topics that range from scientific literacy to space-travel missteps, Tyson gives us an urgent, clear-eyed, and ultimately inspiring vision for the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781511308656
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 10/13/2015
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Neil DeGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, director of the world-famous Hayden Planetarium, and the award-winning author of Death by Black Hole, Origins, and The Pluto Files. He lives in New York City.

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Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
FrancescaNYC More than 1 year ago
I first read essays by Neil deGrasse Tyson when I subscribed to Natural History magazine. As someone with no academic background in the sciences I was enthralled to read articles by an astrophysicist that I could actually comprehend. Every piece in his Universe series was spectacular and thought provoking. I strongly recommend his 2007 book, Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries, a collection of essays he wrote for the magazine during the period from 1995 to 2007. His sheer brilliance combined with an elegant simplicity of writing and his trademark sense of humor take the reader on a fascinating excursion into galaxies, black holes and The Big Bang. Tyson¿s latest book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier also does not disappoint. This collection, beautifully edited by Avis Lang, focuses on the ¿Why,¿ ¿How,¿ and ¿Why Not,¿ of space exploration covering fifteen years of essays, articles, speeches, and interviews plus 53 ¿Space Tweets¿ cleverly interspersed throughout the book. Tyson, who is also the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History in NYC, is an articulate and passionate advocate of investment in space research and exploration. He effectively counters complaints, heard even from those in the progressive community, that too much money is spent on NASA¿s budget. One urgent example: our ability to track the path of Apophis, the killer asteroid coming in our direction that could pass within a narrow range of altitudes called ¿the keyhole¿ in 2029? Should that happen, Earth¿s gravity will cause Apophis to slam into our planet in 2036 creating a tsunami that would be catastrophic for the west coast of North America, Hawaii, and the islands of the Pacific Rim. Perhaps saving our planet from global extinction might be reason enough for the naysayers to re-think their position on NASA funding (which by the way is much less than most people think). Sadly though, scientific literacy has been on the decline. Tyson points out that a recent survey found that one in five adults in the U.S. believes that the Sun revolves around the earth and that only 20 to 25% of the population can be considered scientifically literate. This might explain why some politicians feel comfortable disavowing the theory of evolution or ignoring the scientific data about climate change. By contrast, it¿s invigorating to read a book that reminds us of the successes (and failures) of the space program and underscores the way in which the accomplishments of NASA in the 1960s and 1970s inspired a generation to aspire to study science and aim for the stars. In the epilogue, Tyson lays out his ¿cosmic perspective¿ ¿ and it is truly breathtaking to read. Don¿t miss it!!!
jecko More than 1 year ago
A stimulating and entertaining read for the lay person. Neil gives us a cosmic perspective on our existence and persuasively argues for the importance of dreaming big, something we did during the Apollo days. He talks about NASA budgets, and peoples misconceptions about how much money is being spent on space exploration. This book is quite easy to read if you're not academic, and Neils passion and exuberance comes out well in his essays, I was captivated the whole time. Its true that some of his arguments get repeated as someone mentioned, but this overlap is to be expected as this book is just a collection of Neil's essays. Overall I highly recommend this book for people who have an enthusiasm for space exploration, but more than that, a passion for dreaming big and excelling forward.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very informative, easy-to-read, and extremely interesting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will buy anything Neil Tyson writes as he does a brilliant job conveying science to a layman. I was disappointed in this book however due to the constant repetition of his single argument (albeit valid).
GeekRead More than 1 year ago
Neil deGrasse Tyson skillfully and plainly brings the world of high science to an everyday level. He makes an easy and fun read. A most for anyone interested in space or NASA.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tyson repeats the same arguments over and over in different ways. While there are some interesting anecdotes, the bulk of the book is in the 10 minute interview.
preetalina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't remember anymore how or where I first came across Neil deGrasse Tyson. What I do remember is taking an instant liking to the man. I first started reading one of his earlier books, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, though I never got through the entire thing because I ended up giving it to my grandfather who took it back to India. With so many books on my reading list, I haven't had a chance to get another copy.Around that time, I also saw Dr. Tyson speak at an event at Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. He has so much energy and so much passion that you just fall under the spell.When I first heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. This is probably more up my alley than Death by Black Hole, because I have trouble wrapping my mind around physics, especially astrophysics, and that book is much more physics-heavy. There is a bit of physics and such in this but definitely nothing too complicated. Bottom line is that anyone can read this.Space Chronicles outlines the past and present (and potential future) of space exploration and in particular, discusses why NASA is so important. The book is definitely focused on the United States and its place in this arena. In fact, it's very "USA, USA!" so that's something to keep in mind. I do see why he puts it in this light, because this is an appeal to the people of the US to not let our space program die.Another potential criticism is that there is a lot of repetitiveness throughout. This is because this book is composed of a variety of essays, speeches, interviews, etc. from various sources so you tend to see a lot of his ideas repeated. I didn't really mind this as much because it helped to cement the ideas in my head. However, I can see where this would become annoying for others.Other than these criticisms, I think this is a very important book and should be widely read. I learned so much, not just about space exploration but just how stuff works, especially politically. For example, why did we get to the moon? Because humans - Americans? - value exploration, dreaming, curiosity? No! It was because we were trying to beat the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to show our might. That's the only reason all that money could be justified. Were it not for the Sputnik and the subsequent "firsts" made by the Soviet Union, maybe we would never have reached the moon.I wasn't born during moon landings and I was barely 4 when the Challenger disaster happened. [Fun fact! The development I grew up in had streets named after the Challenger and all the people who died in it.] But growing up, I always had a deep interest in space and even wanted to be an astronaut at one point. (Although who didn't want to be an astronaut when they were little?) This book really opened my eyes and made me think - we did these huge things back in the 60s and 70s, but where are we now? How come humans are not going back into space anymore? (Dr. Tyson explains the different between low earth orbit (LEO) and actually going into space.)Another major discussion point in the book is the cost of going into space (often mentioned is that NASA's yearly budget is on average half a penny per dollar of the federal budget) vs. the benefits and justifications. I think his arguments are solid and make sense.One criticism I have about all the space cheerleading is this:Throughout the book, the viewpoint is that space is the only exciting thing left. This is how it comes off to me. That we - kids especially - need the lure of space travel to be excited about going into science. But there is still so much left on Earth to explore too. So much that we don't know. A big example is the oceans. I might be a bit biased here because I love the oceans and am really into marine biology but still. I absolutely understand that we need excitement about space to get our program (in the US) going again and get students willing to go in that direction. But that doesn't mean it's the only
Paulslibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dr. Tyson brings up a number of valid points as to why space exploration should continue. Only 1/2 cent of our tax dollar goes towards NASA. Two years of military spending would've funded our efforts in space for the past 50 years. Numerous scientific discoveries have resulted from our efforts in space. Most recently, software engineered to sharpen the images from the Hubble Space Telescope is now used to better interpret mammograms. A more robust space program would help influence younger generations to enter the scientific and engineering fields, much like the Apollo program did for the previous generation. Currently we are falling well behind other countries in this area. China and India graduate far more scientist than the US. China alone has more scientifically literate people than we have college graduates. If this trend continues it is predicted China's economy will surpass ours in about 5 years.These statistics sure opened my eyes. A very thought provoking book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cosmos and Neil are both amazing. This book is also a wonder thank you for the read Neil! Also stop posting random stupid ugly cat stuff nobody loves you Any ways great space book i totally recemend
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Randy54 More than 1 year ago
I enjoy science for the average person, and was looking forward to reading Mr. Tyson's latest. I was disappointed in his choice to run the same arguments over and over for NASA funding, which I believe in, and his theme that w/o NASA science will die in this country. This completely ignores all the other science going on, not that I expected him to cover them in this book. I just expected more from Mr. Tyson.
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