A basic look at rockets and the types of payloads they carry as they explore space and our solar system.
The single-topic spreads open with a description of Earth’s atmosphere, including where space (officially) begins, and end with under-development projects such as NASA’s Space Launch System, drones to explore the moon, and the James Webb Space telescope—“launched in 2018” reads the narrative with unjustified optimism (it’s currently scheduled to go up in early 2019). In between, the authors sweep through the history of humans and robots in space from Sputnik I and Yuri Gagarin to now-routine shuttle missions and EVAs. Krynauw adds cartoon spot art featuring a multicultural cast of children (one bearing a bindi but others with exaggeratedly angled eyes) in space gear to the many small color photos of space probes, rockets, rover vehicles, astronauts in and out of space suits, and close-up details of the International Space Station. The accompanying commentary mixes facts and explanations in easily digestible bits, with side observations from ex-astronaut Williams: “Most astronauts think ‘up’ is always above their head, and some snore in space!”
Too broad to be more than a quick skim, but apt fodder for eager young prospective space travelers. (Nonfiction. 8-10)