Science

The NASA New Horizons probe was launched January 19, 2006. After several years, it reached Pluto and spent the summer of 2015 studying the dwarf planet at a distance closer than any spacecraft before. The probe traveled closest to Pluto on July 14, 2015 and continued on to study more of the Kuiper Belt. Learn more about the far reaches of our solar system with these resources.

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

On this day, July 8, 2011, Atlantis made its final liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. After 31 years of manned space flights into the Earth's orbit and back, the Space Shuttle program was officially retired from service. The shuttle program launched 135 missions, traveled 542,398,878 miles, and flew 21,152 orbits around the Earth, carried 355 people and 3.5 million pounds of payload. The purpose of the program was to transport crew and cargo from Earth to orbit, but its mission expanded to the International Space Station. There were 133 successful flights, but 2 very tragic failures. Both the Challenger and Columbia missions lost 7 crew members each. Want to learn more? Here's some resources to get your started!

On February 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated on reentry before the nation's eyes, and all seven astronauts aboard were lost. Author Mike Leinbach, Launch Director of the space shuttle program at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center was a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find. Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in US history. For the first time, here is the definitive inside story of the Columbia disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds. In the aftermath of tragedy, people and communities came together to help bring home the remains of the crew and nearly 40 percent of shuttle, an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station. Bringing Columbia Home shares the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical, and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible. Featuring a foreword and epilogue by astronauts Robert Crippen and Eileen Collins, and dedicated to the astronauts and recovery search persons who lost their lives, this is an incredible, compelling narrative about the best of humanity in the darkest of times and about how a failure at the pinnacle of human achievement became a story of cooperation and hope.

The real-life techno-thriller from a bestselling author and aviation expert that recaptures the historic moments leading up to the launch of the space shuttle Columbia and the exciting story of her daring maiden flight. Using interviews, NASA oral histories, and recently declassified material, Into the Black pieces together the dramatic untold story of the Columbia mission and the brave people who dedicated themselves to help the United States succeed in the age of space exploration. On April 12, 1981, NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It was the most advanced, state-of-the-art flying machine ever built, challenging the minds and imagination of America's top engineers and pilots. Columbia was the world's first real spaceship: a winged rocket plane, the size of an airliner, and capable of flying to space and back before preparing to fly again. On board were moonwalker John Young and test pilot Bob Crippen. Less than an hour after Young and Crippen's spectacular departure from the Cape, all was not well. Tiles designed to protect the ship from the blowtorch burn of re-entry were missing from the heat shield. If the damage to Columbia was too great, the astronauts wouldn't be able to return safely to earth. NASA turned to the National Reconnaissance Office, a spy agency hidden deep inside the Pentagon whose very existence was classified. To help the ship, the NRO would attempt something never done before. Success would require skill, perfect timing, and luck. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, Into the Black is a thrilling race against time and the incredible true story of the first space shuttle mission that celebrates our passion for spaceflight.

Fifteen years ago on this day, July 1st, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft reached the orbit of Saturn. It took 7 years to get there from Earth and it stayed in orbit for 13 years. The orbiter (Cassini) and lander (Huygens), which were named after astromers Giovanni Cassini and Christiaan Huygens, reported back valuable data about the planet, its icy moons and wondrous rings. Its last act of service was known as The Grand Finale. The spacecraft  made a flyby of Titan, then dived between Saturn's rings before its final plunge. Intrigued? We got a dvd for that!

Almost everything we know today about the beautiful giant ringed planet comes from Cassini, the NASA mission that launched in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004. Since then, the spacecraft has been beaming home miraculous images and scientific data, revealing countless wonders about the planet, its rings, and 62 moons—including some that could harbor life. As the mission approaches its final days in 2017, it attempts one last set of daring maneuvers—diving between the innermost ring and the top of Saturn’s atmosphere. Aiming to skim less than 2,000 miles above the cloud tops, no spacecraft has ever gone so close to Saturn and hopes are high for incredible observations that could solve major mysteries about the planet’s core. But such a daring maneuver comes with many risks. Join NASA engineers for the tense and triumphant moments as they find out if their gambit has paid off, and discover the wonders that Cassini has revealed over the years.

 

Sometimes you just want to go to the moon. Here are some fiction and nonfiction books about space, the moon, astronauts, and spacey people. Try one of these books; while they are targeted to new and developing readers, they may have appeal to a wider audience. Click on the title for location and availability.

Space cows by Eric Seltzer
The Moon's time to shine by Scott Emmons

July 20, 1969 marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, Since then, 12 men have walked on the moon, but many others have explored the frontiers of space. Learn about some of these amazing men and women by checking out some of the Library's many resources.

Gus Grissom : the lost astronaut by 1959- Ray E. Boomhower
Kermit Versus Thorndyke Smackdown

 

Hey Kids,

Ever wondered whether a mosquito could take on a great white shark? Me neither. But now that you're thinking about it, how do a mosquito and a great white match up? If you're curious about this and other animal matchups, check out some of the books below. 

Bear Hugs,

Thorndyke

This title has lots of different matchups, if you just can't make a choice.

While fiction titles are often what is featured in the monthly "Look What's In Large Print..." blog posts, did you know that CPL also regularly purchases non-fiction titles in large print? Shelved at the beginning of the Large Print collection (with new titles displayed on top of the shelves), our non-fiction Large Print titles range from a large print thesaurus to "Alexander Hamilton" by Ron Chernow to various biographies on a wide range of popular individuals like Jimmy Carter, Michael Caine, and Sally Field. 

Below is a sampling of new non-fiction titles available in large print.

Becoming [large print] by 1964- Michelle Obama
Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America--the first African American to serve in that role--she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her--from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it--in her own words and on her own terms. 

Also available in: print

John Kerry tells the story of his remarkable American life -- from son of a diplomat to decorated Vietnam veteran, five-term United States senator, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and secretary of state. A Yale graduate, Kerry enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1966 and served in Vietnam. He returned home highly decorated but disillusioned, and testified powerfully before Congress as a young veteran opposed to the war. Kerry served as a prosecutor in Massachusetts, then as lieutenant governor, and was elected to the Senate in 1984, eventually serving five terms. In 2004, he was the Democratic presidential nominee and came within one state -- Ohio -- of winning. Kerry returned to the Senate, chaired the important Foreign Relations Committee and succeeded Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in 2013. In that position he tried to find peace in the Middle East, dealt with the Syrian civil war while combating ISIS, and negotiated the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement. Kerry tells stories about colleagues Ted Kennedy and John McCain, as well as President Obama and other major figures. He writes of recovering his faith while in the Senate, and deplores the hyper-partisanship that has infected Washington.

There was an important scientific report released recently. In case you missed it, you can read it here. Another corresponding report can be found here. A new report on the Arctic can be found here.

Close Up of Thorndyke the Bear's Eye

Hey Kids,

There's two fun new series about animals that I'd like to share with you. Each book combines simple clues with photographs, and then you guess the animal. Some of the animals are familiar, but others are strange, and some are easier to guess from the photographs. I would recommend them to anyone who likes guessing games, or who is just beginning to read. You can look up the books under the series titles: Guess What or Zoo Clues 2. If you check them out, don't forget to tell me which ones you guessed.

Bear Hugs,

Thorndyke

 

Snowflake Crown-wearing Thorndyke with Scaredy Squirrel

Hey Kids,

As a devoted library bear I really enjoy learning about your interests. Sometimes they are straightforward, like cars. Or bears. Or mysteries. But other times you just want to read about both princesses and scientists. At the same time. This can be a tall order, but here are a few recommendations that might fit the bill. 

Bear hugs,

Thorndyke, the Snowflake Princess

A girl on a flying horse must be a princess, right? She also happens to be a real-life computer programmer from the nineteenth century.

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