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Book review: “Incredible Stories From Space” – Nancy Atkinson

19 Feb 2017, 12:22 UTC
Book review: “Incredible Stories From Space” – Nancy Atkinson
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Space enthusiasts and readers of popular science books know full well that behind every space mission – success or failure – there are human stories every bit as compelling and exciting as the tales of the engineering and technology needed for those missions. We know that every photo returned from the rocky surface of Mars, above the swirling clouds of Jupiter or beneath the Sun was only taken after months if not years of hard work and dedication by amazing people. But I think it’s fair to say that many of the general public don’t. I know from conversations with people after my outreach talks that many of them see the images space probes return and think they’re all taken automatically after getting to their destination. And they still think – perhaps because it’s how Hollywood still insists on portraying them – that space scientists are either a wild-haired, goggle-eyed boffins who run like lunatics around lab benches covered in smoking jars and jugs of bubbling chemicals, their arms flailing like ET, or b) cold, unemotional robots who stare at screens all day like computer hackers with their hearts removed, worshipping or looking for beauty in their strange graphs, diagrams ...

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