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Interplanetary Robots: True Stories of Space Exploration
Contributor(s): Pyle, Rod (Author)

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ISBN: 163388502X     ISBN-13: 9781633885028
Publisher: Prometheus Books
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: January 2019

Annotation: A NASA insider and award-winning science writer explores the incredible missions of robotic spacecraft to every corner of our solar system and beyond, revealing extraordinary engineering achievements, daring imaginations and technological genius. Original.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Science | Space Science
- Science | Astronomy
- Technology & Engineering | Aeronautics & Astronautics
Dewey: 629.435
LCCN: 2018038827
Physical Information: 1.1" H x 6" W x 8.8" (1.00 lbs) 376 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Rod Pyle is the author of the widely acclaimed Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen and Destination Mars--called "the best recent overview of Mars missions" by the Washington Post--and also Destination Moon, Missions to the Moon, and a popular audiobook called The Space Race. He has produced numerous documentaries for the History Channel and Discovery Communications, including the widely praised Modern Marvels: Apollo 11. He has been an assistant professor at the University of La Verne and a lecturer with NASA's Johnson Space Center.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 November #2)

Pyle (Amazing Stories of the Space Age), a media consultant for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, misfires in this disappointing survey of unmanned space missions. Pyle begins in 2012, as the Curiosity rover is scheduled to land on Mars, then backtracks to cover the entire history of what he's dubbed "interplanetary robots," beginning with the start of the U.S.-Soviet space race in the 1950s. Pyle proceeds to cover familiar developments, such as the launching of Sputnik, the fulfillment of President Kennedy's promise to land a man on the moon, and the Voyager missions. In "Flash Forwards," Pyle speculates about possible future technology, including "purpose-built spacecraft" for exploring nearby stars and a submarine for delving into hydrocarbon lakes on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Despite Pyle's undeniably strong credentials, the authority of his text is undermined by some questionable statements, including about the surprising discovery of what appeared to be surviving Earth bacteria on equipment left on the moon for years; only in a footnote does he mention that the bacteria may have resulted from nonsterile conditions after the equipment's return to Earth. Strained and flowery prose (satellite dishes are described as "poking high into the arid skies like withered daisies seeking a bit more sunlight") provides another minus in this missed opportunity. (Jan.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.
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