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Book Review: Space Chronicles – Facing the Ultimate Frontier

Space Chronicles – Facing the Ultimate Frontier by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Edited by Avis Lang); W.W. Norton & Co., New York; $26.95 (hardcover); 2012.

This delightful read comes courtesy of a thoughtful, charismatic astrophysicist and renowned popular speaker – an alien blend that’s refreshing, entertaining and stimulating.

Tyson has written a spirited why, how, and why not account of America’s space exploration future.

“Collectively, the selections in this volume investigate what NASA means to America and what space exploration means to our species,” he writes in the book’s prologue. Moreover, he points out that it’s time for America to invest heavily in space exploration and research.

Tyson is an unabashed advocate for doubling NASA’s budget. The ripple effects from doing so include not only making an investment in tomorrow’s economy, but also an investment in our security.

Space enthusiasts will find great fodder here to sharpen your own skills in promoting NASA and scripting your personal manifesto on the importance of space exploration.

There’s a host of Tyson observations regarding troublesome asteroids, ET, and the value of the Hubble Space Telescope. And there are also reflections on past space epics, such as Apollo 11 and the space shuttle program. But when you’ve completed the read, you’ll have gained a cosmic perspective that encapsulates why these events and still-to-come discoveries matter.

As the director of Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, Tyson has crafted a forceful argument for space exploration – sometimes humorously but engagingly thought-provoking too. The book is peppered with “Space Tweets” – such as: “The entire half-century budget of NASA equals the current two year budget of the U.S. military.”

This is a must-have, easy to read book that anyone caring about NASA, global leadership, and the value of space exploration should own.

Better yet, make sure your representatives in Congress get the message.

For more information on this book, go to:

http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Space-Chronicles/

Note:

Give a listen to “Space Chronicles”: Why Exploring Space Still Matters – a recent Tyson interview on National Public Radio – by going to:

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/27/147351252/space-chronicles-why-exploring-space-still-matters

By Leonard David

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