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THIS IS ROCKET SCIENCE by Gloria Skurzynski


True Stories of the Risk-Taking Scientists Who Figure Out Ways to Explore Beyond Earth

by Gloria Skurzynski

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: April 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4263-0597-9
Publisher: National Geographic

This brief but engaging chronicle of how rocketry made space travel possible begins 1,000 years ago in China with the invention of “fire arrows.” Skurzynski breezes through the astronomical discoveries of Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler and the formulation of Newton’s laws of gravity and motion to the late 19th century. After discussing the contributions of rocketry pioneers Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Robert Goddard, Hermann Oberth and Wernher von Braun, the author focuses on the era of space exploration, beginning with the launch of Sputnik and continuing with the ensuing “space race” between the United States and Soviet Union. Important developments such as the Saturn V rocket, space-shuttle program and international space station are highlighted. The concluding chapter discussing NASA’s Ares program and its plan to return to the Moon is already dated by the Obama administration’s recent decision to scrap the program. Abundantly illustrated and attractively designed, readers will find this overview of rocket science informative and appealing. Glossary, index and resources not seen. (Nonfiction. 10-13)