Sputnik's Child is Certified Space Imagination Product

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Sputnik's Child is Certified Space Imagination Product The Space Foundation has recognized Sputnik's Child, a novel by Bentley University professor Fred Ledley, as a Certified Space Imagination ProductTM, and Ledley has pledged to donate profits from the sale of the book to support Space Foundation education programs.

The novel, which was released this month, recalls the events that shaped the ideas and lives of the baby boom generation. Told through the eyes of a woman born the day Sputnik was launched in 1957, it explores how a generation was inspired by the excitement of the first Moon landing, the drama of Apollo 13 and the tragedy of Space Shuttle Challenger.

Certified Space Imagination ProductsTM, part of the Space Foundation's Space Certification ProgramTM, are entertainment products, books, games or toys that increase interest in and excitement for space and inspire new generations to take an active interest in space.

"Sputnik's Child underscores the power of space exploration to inspire an entire generation with hope in the face of great challenges," said Kevin Cook, director - space awareness programs for the Space Foundation. "In a time when many are looking for a new 'Sputnik Moment' to galvanize a public response to contemporary problems, this book revisits the phenomenal impact space exploration has had on our society.

"We're especially pleased that proceeds will help keep inspiration alive by funding education programs," said Cook.

The Space Foundation's education programs are building the next generation of space leaders and improving students' interest and skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through teacher, student and community programs that integrate space into the classroom. Programs include Space Across the Curriculum professional development courses for preK-12 teachers, New Horizons community-centered science enrichment programs, STARS hands-on science enrichment programs for schools, the National Science Standards Lesson Bank and the Teacher Liaison program for extraordinary educators.

"Students today have not had the experience of listening as the Apollo astronauts read Genesis from orbit around the Moon, watching as human footprints were stamped on its surface or crying when the promise of Challenger was lost," said Ledley. "The work of the Space Foundation helps ensure that their generation is inspired the way we were."

Ledley, an accomplished physician, scientist, entrepreneur and member of the baby boom generation, has written extensively on topics ranging from biology and medicine to philosophy, ethics, education and the sense of wonder. He is a professor and the chair of Bentley's Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, where he teaches biology, management and futurism. Bentley University, one of the nation's leading business schools, is located in Waltham, Mass

Contemplating the promise and challenges of the age of technology, Sputnik's Child tells the story of Jackie, who comes of age in the 1960s, frightened by riots and wars, but inspired by the civil rights movement, Woodstock and the exploration of space. Drawing confidence from the Moon landing in 1969 that problems on Earth can be solved, Jackie achieves personal and professional success communicating the promise of the emerging age of technology. When her daughter is diagnosed with a disease that has no known cause or cure, Jackie is confronted with a crisis of faith. The book follows her as she reconciles her belief in technology with the understanding that science cannot solve every problem.

Sputnik's Child is available in paperback and electronic editions from online retailers and by request at bookstores. To purchase, find out more about the book or get involved in the conversation, visit or Facebook (Sputniks Child).

Space CertificationTM products and services are guaranteed to effectively promote the value of space utilization or to have stemmed from or been improved by technologies developed for space exploration. Comprising three categories - Certified Technology Products, Certified Educational Products and Certified Imagination Products - the program provides a unique marketing edge for partners, demonstrates how space technologies improve life on Earth and makes space more accessible to everyone. The Space Certification program is complemented by the Space Foundation's Space Technology Hall of Fame®, a scholarly recognition program that honors extraordinary space technologies that have been adapted to improve life on Earth.

This article is part of Space Watch: December 2011 (Volume: 10, Issue: 12).