Mission, Earth: Voyage to the Home Planet

Thomas D. Jones, Author, June A. English, Author Scholastic $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-590-48571-5
What happens when grade school friends meet up in later life? Well, if one has become an astronaut and the other a writer, the result, not surprisingly, is a book. This lively journal puts a human face on the current space program by giving readers a firsthand look at two 1994 space shuttle missions. Astronaut Jones's enthusiasm for his work is contagious; it shines through the text, making for a roundly enjoyable and informative read. The missions he and English chronicle--Space Radar Lab 1 and 2, part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth--should be of special interest to individuals and classrooms studying the environment, as well as to general space buffs. The mission's purpose is to map, photograph and study changes in the environment in order to give scientists more ammunition in battling the planet's problems. ``You are there'' descriptions (take-off is particularly exciting) find their match in photographs and radar images that range from the humorous (Jones attempting to eat a floating tortilla) to the spectacular (a shuttle's-eye view of typhoon Odessa). Well-conceived and thoughtfully executed, this book deserves a wide audience. Ages 8-14. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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