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In this age of ebooks, smartphones and tiny houses, there’s less need (and less room) for shelves of inch-thick volumes lining the walls. But it’s still nice to have a colorful, glossy-paged book to peruse during the commercials while you’re watching the latest episode of “Mars.” And if it’s a big book about a big subject, that’s even better.

There are lots of reasons to keep this wide-ranging, picture-packed survey of factual and fictional space stations — written by Gary Kitmacher, Ron Miller and Robert Pearlman — handy over the coming year. We just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the International Space Station’s start, and the expected debut of commercial space taxis will focus fresh attention on the ISS. There’s also a lot of talk about the Gateway that NASA and its partners are talking about building in lunar orbit. And if you want to feast your eyes on Space Wheels, O’Neill habitats and other classic sci-fi visions of the future, “Space Stations” has you covered.

This second edition of what’s now become a classic off-Earth atlas runs the gamut from constellation star guides to annotated planetary maps based on the latest wave of space missions (including Messenger’s voyage to Mercury and New Horizons’ flyby of Pluto). gas hydrates energy Because it’s a National Geographic production, there are lots of magazine-quality photos and sumptuous graphics. Written by James Trefil with a foreword by Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin (with an explanation of his cycler concept for trips to Mars).

Astronomy writer David Dickinson and Universe Today publisher Fraser Cain team up on a book you won’t just want to keep on your coffee table. This guide has something for anyone with even the slightest interest in the skies above: easy-to-follow advice for finding the good stuff in the night sky, fun activities to deepen your appreciation of cosmic wonders, full rundowns on eclipses and other key events to watch for when the skies are clear, and lots of tales and trivia to muse over when they’re not.

Mapping the cosmos is just one of the topics addressed in this entertaining, colorful look at historical maps and the stories behind them. Space fans will revel in the tale surrounding a century’s worth of road atlases for Mars’ (non-existent) canals, There are also entries for the history of moon maps, the solar system maps that NASA’s Pioneer and Voyager missions provided for the aliens, and the fictional Death Star diagrams. electricity voltage in china But wait … there’s much, much more. Co-authors Betsy Mason and Greg Miller provide a cornucopia of cartography that spans subjects ranging from a street map for ancient Rome and a 15th-century guide to the parallels between medieval maps of Britain and contemporary charts of the Seven Kingdoms in “Game of Thrones.”

This holiday season kicks off prime time for Apollo moonshot anniversaries, starting with Apollo 7’s first crewed test mission and Apollo 8’s audacious yuletide trip around the moon in 1968. electricity invented timeline Co-authors Floris Heyne, Joel Meter, Simon Phillipson and Delano Steenmeijer presents carefully curated photos from each of the 11 missions in chronological order. It’s all about the pictures here: Background text is kept to a minimum, and the captions are grouped together at the end of each section. There’s also a in a larger format with thicker paper (and a fatter price tag). With a foreword by Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham.

Grover and other InSight team members provided a preview of the landing today at JPL in Pasadena, Calif. e 87 gasoline The mission’s name is actually an acronym of sorts, standing for “INterior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.” The lander’s instruments are designed to provide unprecedented data about the Red Planet’s inner structure, seismic activity and heat flow from the interior.

NASA doesn’t strictly need MarCO-A and MarCO-B to work for mission success. MarCO’s main job is to test miniaturized CubeSat technologies that could become part of the routine for future robotic exploration missions. After flying past Mars, the twin solar-powered spacecraft will continue into deep space and could be available for a follow-up mission that’s yet to be determined.

InSight’s first hours of activity will be tracked by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Odyssey orbiter as well. But because of the orbiters’ positions with respect to Earth, it could be more than five hours before ground controllers hear whether InSight has opened its two sets of solar arrays. That’s a key requirement for mission success. 3 gases in the air If InSight doesn’t get its power-generating system working, its batteries would last “not much more than one Mars day,” said Tom Hoffman, InSight project manager at JPL.

SEIS is so delicate that it has to be contained in a vacuum chamber and shielded from Mars’ whisper-thin winds. Back in 2015, problems with the vacuum seal from 2016 to this year. But that delay’s nothing compared to how long JPL’s Sue Smrekar, deputy principal investigator for the InSight mission, has been looking forward to getting the seismic data.

The third instrument is the or HP3 (“HP-cubed”), which is designed to take Mars’ internal temperature. HP3 is a “mole” that hammers its way down as far as 15 feet beneath the surface to see how heat is transferred from Mars’ depths to the surface. That’s an important question, because if there’s any life left on Mars, it’s likely to lurk beneath the surface where there’s a better chance of having access to warmth and liquid water.

NASA is planning to its final pre-landing news conference at 10 a.m. PT Sunday, followed by a NASA Social Q&A with the InSight team at 1 p.m. PT. gas 4 less manhattan ks Monday’s NASA TV coverage includes live interviews with mission experts from 3 to 7 a.m. PT, landing commentary beginning at 11 a.m., and a post-landing news conference no earlier than 2 p.m. ET. For an entertaining look at the InSight mission, , created by Seattle’s own Matthew Inman.