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Space Tourism (Machines of the Future) by…
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Space Tourism (Machines of the Future)

by Peter McMahon

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This book is half "survey of space travel & tourism" and half "how-to" science activity book. The activities relate to the topic at hand and are the usual "re-create gravity" and "balloon-rocket" experiments that are in many science books aimed at young children. This inclusing of science experiments in a book advertised for "Space Tourism" provide a jarring reading experience and routinely stop the reader from easily navigating the text.

The illustrations lack the vivid colors that make the subject of space so enticing and are, honestly, a little disappointing. A drawing, even one for purposes of diagramming a space-station, don't do the immense collection of space photography & illustration justice. The number of amazing artist that have been drawing space-related technologies since the 1950's for NASA, Disney, and Popular Mechanics are countless and given this, it bothersome that the illustrator chose a style more reminiscent of sub-par photoshop clip art.

The technology discusses is well-grounded with very little "pie-in-the-sky" language, which lends a realism to space exploration that is sorely needed, considering how fanciful many people view space travel. The interviews with actual space-tourists and astronauts was also a plus and the author should be given credit for tracking down the quotes used in this book.

There is a table of contents, a short (and needed) glossary of terms, and an index, but no further reading or bibliography. The lack of further reading in a science book is troublesome because ideally you want the student to continue in their experiments as well as their interest in space. Doing this, the book almost paints itself as a "stand-alone" volume, which it isn't.

Finally, the author's credentials are that of a professional journalist, writer, and producer for the Discovery Channel, which considering the depth of the book (rather shallow), are adequate.

For children aged 6-12. ( )
  MattRaygun | Sep 21, 2011 |
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Introduces recent technological advances in vehicles for space travel, and features hands-on activities for children.

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