by Jeffrey Kluger
Manned missions to our moon (Selene) and around Earth garner the most public attention, but the author points out that without the knowledge gained from unmanned probes such as Pioneer and Voyager, human expeditions would be risky if not impossible. Beyond that contribution, these probes, sent out by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), have given us our only first-hand, close-up looks at what lurks beyond Earth's moon. Kluger's story centers on the history of JPL and its mission to convey an understanding of our solar system. By elaborating on the hassles and rivalries that JPL's missions have provoked, Kluger's tale and the personalities of JPL's scientists comes to life. He also describes the many fruits of the missions, which have discovered new moons and continue to search for signs of life.
Previously published in hardcover as Journey Beyond Selene in 1999.
Touchstone, 2001, 314 p., color photos, paperback
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Copyright 2001, Science Service