Reviews & Previews: Soldier of Fortune
The life and mysterious death of an American ace in the Spanish Civil War
- By The Editors
- Air & Space magazine, March 2012
(Page 3 of 5)
The book has three sections—Why, How, and Why Not explore space—that include mind-bending facts about the universe and our place in it. These accessible, highly readable essays provoke thought and showcase Tyson’s gift for explaining big concepts in easy-to-understand terms.
n n n Michael Belfiore wrote this issue’s cover story, “Extraterrestrial outfitter” (p. 48).
Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration
American Museum of Natural History.
New York, NY. Exhibit runs through
August 12, 2012. amnh.org.
How will humans ever get out of Earth orbit to explore the galaxy—or even just the solar system? It’s a question the American Museum of Natural History tries to answer in its new exhibit, “Beyond Planet Earth.”
Like any good history museum, this one begins the exhibit with the past: Sputnik and a rusty Vostok capsule—both reproductions from the museum’s fabrication shop. From a tiny port you can sniff a sample of a simulated lunar surface; Apollo astronauts say the real thing smelled like gunpowder but I sensed a hint of charcoal. In low lunar lighting, you see a miniature diorama depicting a proposed moon settlement, and a powerful, revolving liquid mirror telescope that should bring in crisper images of the universe. On one side of the hall there’s a scale-model inflatable-expandable lunar habitat; overhead is a model of a proposed lunar elevator. (Despite the obvious convenience, I’d never take an elevator to the moon—or live for extended periods inside anything inflatable.)