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Space Science

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  1. 5.1 hrs • 7/26/2016 • Unabridged

    Climate change has been a perplexing problem for years. Casey’s research into the Sun’s activity, which began almost a decade ago, resulted in discovery of a solar cycle that is now reversing from its global warming phase to that of dangerous global cooling for the next thirty years or more. This new cold climate will dramatically impact the world’s citizens. A sobering look at Earth’s future, Dark Winter predicts worldwide, crop-destroying cold; food shortages and riots in the United States and abroad; significant global loss of life; and social, political, and economic upheaval.

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    Dark Winter

    5.1 hrs • 7/26/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 18.8 hrs • 6/7/2016 • Unabridged

    The incredible story of Iridium—the most complex satellite system ever built, the cell phone of the future, and one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in American history—and one man’s desperate race to save it. In the early 1990s, Motorola, the legendary American technology company, developed a revolutionary satellite system called Iridium that promised to be its crowning achievement. Light years ahead of anything previously put into space, and built on technology developed for Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars,” Iridium’s constellation of sixty-six satellites in polar orbit meant that no matter where you were on Earth, at least one satellite was always overhead, and you could call Tibet from Fiji without a delay and without your call ever touching a wire. Iridium the satellite system was a mind-boggling technical accomplishment, surely the future of communication. The only problem was that Iridium the company was a commercial disaster. Only months after launching service, it was $11 billion in debt, burning through $100 million a month, and crippled by baroque rate plans and agreements that forced calls through Moscow, Beijing, Fucino, Italy, and elsewhere. Bankruptcy was inevitable—the largest to that point in American history. And when no real buyers seemed to materialize, it looked like Iridium would go down as just a “science experiment.” That is, until Dan Colussy got a wild idea. Colussy, a former head of Pan-Am now retired and working on his golf game in Palm Beach, heard about Motorola’s plans to “de-orbit” the system and decided he would buy Iridium and somehow turn around one of the biggest blunders in the history of business. In Eccentric Orbits, John Bloom masterfully traces the conception, development, and launching of Iridium and Colussy’s tireless efforts to stop it from being destroyed, from meetings with his motley investor group, to the Clinton White House, the Pentagon, and the hunt for customers in special ops, shipping, aviation, mining, search and rescue—anyone who would need a durable phone at the end of the Earth. Impeccably researched and wonderfully told, Eccentric Orbits is a rollicking, unforgettable tale of technological achievement, business failure, the military-industrial complex, and one of the greatest deals of all time.

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    Eccentric Orbits by John Bloom

    Eccentric Orbits

    18.8 hrs • 6/7/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    8.4 hrs • 4/26/2016 • Unabridged

    Mapping the Heavens provides a tour of the “greatest hits” of cosmological discoveries—the ideas that reshaped our universe over the past century. The cosmos, once understood as a stagnant place filled with the ordinary, is now a universe that is expanding at an accelerating pace, propelled by dark energy and structured by dark matter. Priyamvada Natarajan, our guide to these ideas, is at the forefront of the research—an astrophysicist who literally creates maps of invisible matter in the universe. She not only explains for a wide audience the science behind these essential ideas but also provides an understanding of how radical scientific theories gain acceptance. The formation and growth of black holes, dark matter halos, the accelerating expansion of the universe, the echo of the big bang, the discovery of exoplanets, and the possibility of other universes—these are some of the puzzling cosmological topics of the early twenty-first century. Natarajan discusses why the acceptance of new ideas about the universe and our place in it has never been linear and always contested even within the scientific community. And she affirms that, shifting and incomplete as science always must be, it offers the best path we have toward making sense of our wondrous, mysterious universe.

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    Mapping the Heavens by Priyamvada Natarajan

    Mapping the Heavens

    Read by Elisabeth Rodgers
    8.4 hrs • 4/26/16 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
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  4. 8.6 hrs • 11/3/2015 • Unabridged

    What is space? It isn’t a question that most of us normally stop to ask. Space is the venue of physics; it’s where things exist, where they move and take shape. Yet over the past few decades, physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time. The phenomenon—the ability of one particle to affect another instantly across the vastness of space—appears to be almost magical. Einstein grappled with this oddity and couldn’t quite resolve it, describing it as “spooky action at a distance.” But this strange occurrence has direct connections to black holes, particle collisions, and even the workings of gravity. If space isn’t what we thought it was, then what is it? In Spooky Action at a Distance, George Musser sets out to answer that question, offering a provocative exploration of nonlocality and a celebration of the scientists who are trying to understand it. Musser guides us on an epic journey of scientific discovery into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem, astronomers discovering galaxies that look statistically identical, and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the big bang. Their conclusions challenge our understanding not only of space and time but of the origins of the universe—and their insights are spurring profound technological innovation and suggesting a new grand unified theory of physics.

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    Spooky Action at a Distance by George Musser

    Spooky Action at a Distance

    8.6 hrs • 11/3/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 2.2 hrs • 7/7/2015 • Unabridged

    Award-winning journalist Stephen Petranek says humans will live on Mars by 2034. Now he makes the case that living on Mars is not just plausible, but inevitable. It sounds like science fiction, but Stephen Petranek considers it fact: within twenty years, humans will live on Mars. We’ll need to. In this sweeping, provocative book that mixes business, science, and human reporting, Petranek makes the case that living on Mars is an essential back-up plan for humanity and explains in fascinating detail just how it will happen. The race is on. Private companies, driven by iconoclastic entrepreneurs, such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Paul Allen, and Sir Richard Branson; Dutch reality show and space mission Mars One; NASA; and the Chinese government are among the many groups competing to plant the first stake on Mars and open the door for human habitation. Why go to Mars? Life on Mars has potential life-saving possibilities for everyone on earth. Depleting water supplies, overwhelming climate change, and a host of other disasters—from terrorist attacks to meteor strikes—all loom large. We must become a space-faring species to survive. We have the technology not only to get humans to Mars, but to convert Mars into another habitable planet. It will likely take three hundred years to “terraform” Mars, as the jargon goes, but we can turn it into a veritable second Garden of Eden. And we can live there, in specially designed habitations, within the next twenty years. In this exciting chronicle, Petranek introduces the circus of lively characters all engaged in a dramatic effort to be the first to settle the Red Planet. How We’ll Live on Mars brings firsthand reporting, interviews with key participants, and extensive research to bear on the question of how we can expect to see life on Mars within the next twenty years.

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    How We’ll Live on Mars

    2.2 hrs • 7/7/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    7.7 hrs • 2/24/2015 • Unabridged

    The story of the men and women who drove the Voyager spacecraft mission— told by a scientist who was there from the beginning Voyager 1 left the solar system in 2012; its sister craft, Voyager 2, will do so in 2015. The fantastic journey began in 1977, before the first episode of Cosmos aired. The mission was planned as a grand tour beyond the moon; beyond Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn; and maybe even into interstellar space. The fact that it actually happened makes this humanity’s greatest space mission. In The Interstellar Age, award-winning planetary scientist Jim Bell reveals what drove and continues to drive the members of this extraordinary team, including Ed Stone, Voyager’s chief scientist and the one-time head of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab; Charley Kohlhase, an orbital dynamics engineer who helped to design many of the critical slingshot maneuvers around planets that enabled the Voyagers to travel so far; and the geologist whose Earth-bound experience would prove of little help in interpreting the strange new landscapes revealed in the Voyagers’ astoundingly clear images of moons and planets. Speeding through space at a mind-bending eleven miles a second, Voyager 1 is now beyond our solar system’s planets. It carries with it artifacts of human civilization. By the time Voyager passes its first star in about 40,000 years, the gold record on the spacecraft, containing various music and images including Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” will still be playable.

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    The Interstellar Age

    Read by Jim Bell
    7.7 hrs • 2/24/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 7.0 hrs • 1/9/2015 • Unabridged

    Executive producer and theoretical physicist Kip Thorne presents a journey through the otherworldly science behind Christopher Nolan’s multiaward-winning movie Interstellar. The Academy Award-winning film Interstellar, from acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, takes us on a fantastic voyage far beyond our solar system. Yet in The Science of Interstellar, Kip Thorne, the physicist who assisted Nolan on the scientific aspects of Interstellar, shows us that the movie’s jaw-dropping events and stunning, never-before-attempted visuals are grounded in real science. Thorne shares his experiences working as the science adviser on the film and then moves on to the science itself. In chapters on wormholes, black holes, interstellar travel, and much more, Thorne’s scientific insights—many of them triggered during the actual scripting and shooting of Interstellar—describe the physical laws that govern our universe and the truly astounding phenomena that those laws make possible.

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    The Science of Interstellar

    7.0 hrs • 1/9/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
    8.7 hrs • 9/2/2014 • Unabridged

    A thrilling and accessible tour of the cosmos Our true origins are not just human, or even terrestrial, but in fact cosmic. Drawing on scientific breakthroughs and the current cross-pollination among geology, biology, astrophysics, and cosmology, Origins explains the soul-stirring leaps in our understanding of the cosmos. From the first image of a galaxy birth to Spirit rover’s exploration of Mars, to the discovery of water on one of Jupiter’s moons, coauthors Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith conduct a galvanizing tour of the cosmos with clarity and exuberance.

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    Origins by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Donald Goldsmith

    Origins

    8.7 hrs • 9/2/14 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
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  9. 10.3 hrs • 4/1/2014 • Unabridged

    A deeply panoramic tour of the night, from its brightest spots to the darkest skies we have left. A starry night is one of nature’s most magical wonders. Yet in our artificially lit world, three-quarters of Americans’ eyes never switch to night vision and most of us no longer experience true darkness. In The End of Night, Paul Bogard restores our awareness of the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky and how it has influenced the human experience across everything from science to art. From Las Vegas’ Luxor Beam—the brightest single spot on this planet—to nights so starlit the sky looks like snow, Bogard blends nature, science, and history to shed light on the importance of darkness—what we’ve lost, what we still have, and what we might regain—and the simple ways we can reduce the brightness of our nights tonight.

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    The End of Night

    10.3 hrs • 4/1/14 • Unabridged
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  10. 6.2 hrs • 2/1/2014 • Unabridged

    Our understanding of nature’s deepest reality has changed radically, but almost without our noticing, over the past twenty-five years. Transcending the clash of older ideas about matter and space, acclaimed physicist Frank Wilczek explains a remarkable new discovery: matter is built from almost weightless units, and pure energy is the ultimate source of mass. He calls it “The Lightness of Being.” Space is no mere container, empty and passive. It is a dynamic grid, modern ether, and its spontaneous activity creates and destroys particles. This new understanding of mass explains the puzzling feebleness of gravity, and a gorgeous unification of all the forces comes sharply into focus. The Lightness of Being is the first book to explore the implications of these revolutionary ideas about mass, energy, and the nature of empty space. In it, Wilczek masterfully presents new perspectives on our incredible universe and envisions a new golden age of fundamental physics.

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    The Lightness of Being

    6.2 hrs • 2/1/14 • Unabridged
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  11. 0 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5
    3.9 hrs • 1/14/2014 • Unabridged

    From the acclaimed author of Einstein’s Dreams and Mr. g comes a meditation on the unexpected ways in which recent scientific findings have shaped our understanding of ourselves and our place in the cosmos. With all the passion, curiosity, and precise yet lyrical prose that have marked his previous books, Alan Lightman here explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by discoveries in science, focusing most intently on the human condition and the needs of humankind. He looks at the difficult dialogue between science and religion, the conflict between our human desire for permanence and the impermanence of nature, the possibility that our universe is simply an accident, the manner in which modern technology has separated us from direct experience of the world, and our resistance to the view that our bodies and minds can be explained by scientific logic and laws. And behind all of these considerations is the suggestion—at once haunting and exhilarating—that what we see and understand of the world is only a tiny piece of the extraordinary, perhaps unfathomable whole.

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    The Accidental Universe by Alan Lightman

    The Accidental Universe

    3.9 hrs • 1/14/14 • Unabridged
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  12. 8.8 hrs • 10/29/2013 • Unabridged

    Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly four thousand hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield’s success—and survival—is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst and enjoy every moment of it. In An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don’t visualize success; do care what others think; and always sweat the small stuff. You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video, or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield, but his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth—especially your own.

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    An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

    An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

    8.8 hrs • 10/29/13 • Unabridged
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  13. 3.5 hrs • 8/6/2013 • Unabridged

    From the competitive spirit ignited by Sputnik to the tragedies and triumphs of the Apollo missions, from the technological leap forward created by the Space Shuttle to the global cooperation forged by the International Space Station and beyond, NPR examines the inspirational story of modern space exploration and the extraordinary individuals who made it possible. Featuring in-depth profiles of landmark missions, along with interviews and commentary from voices that have lived the dream, including astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Frank Borman, Bernard Harris, Sallie Ride, and many more.

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  14. 0 reviews 0 5 3.5 3 out of 5 stars 3.5/5
    4.8 hrs • 5/7/2013 • Unabridged

    Legendary “space statesman” Buzz Aldrin speaks out as a vital advocate for the continuing quest to push the boundaries of the universe as we know it. As a pioneering astronaut who set foot on the moon during mankind’s first landing with Apollo 11—and an aerospace engineer who designed an orbital rendezvous technique critical to future planetary landings—Aldrin has a vision, and in Mission to Mars he plots out the path he proposes, one that will take humans to Mars by 2035. Sections include Foreword by Andrew AldrinChapter 1: The View from Air Force OneChapter 2: Time for Decision-MakingChapter 3: Your Space: Building the Business CaseChapter 4: Dreams of My MoonChapter 5: Voyage to ArmageddonChapter 6: The March to MarsChapter 7: Homesteading the Red PlanetChapter 8: The Clarion Call

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    Mission to Mars by Buzz Aldrin

    Mission to Mars

    By Buzz Aldrin, with Leonard David
    Foreword by Andrew Aldrin
    Read by John Pruden
    4.8 hrs • 5/7/13 • Unabridged
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  15. 0 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5
    1.4 hrs • 2/12/2013 • Unabridged

    The human race is at a crossroads. In the coming years, we will make decisions regarding our human spaceflight program that will lead to one of two familiar futures: the open universe of Star Trek, where we allow ourselves the opportunity to spread our wings and attempt to flourish as an interplanetary species—or the closed, dystopian, and ultimately self-destructive world of Soylent Green.  If we ever hope to live in the future that is the former scenario, our first stepping stone must be a manned mission to Mars. Dr. Robert Zubrin details the challenges of a manned Earth-to-Mars mission. Challenges which, according to Zubrin, we are technologically more prepared to overcome than the obstacles of the missions to the moon of the sixties and seventies. Dr. Zubrin’s relatively simple plan, called Mars Direct, could feasibly have humans on the surface of Mars within a decade.  Zubrin also discusses the current predicament of NASA, the promise of privatized space flight from companies like SpaceX, and the larger implication behind the absolute necessity to open the final frontier to humanity—the human race’s future as a species that takes the necessary baby steps away from the cradle that is planet Earth or, ultimately, perishes here.

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    Mars Direct

    1.4 hrs • 2/12/13 • Unabridged
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  16. 7.9 hrs • 8/7/2012 • Unabridged

    We’ve long understood black holes to be the points at which the universe as we know it comes to an end. Often billions of times more massive than the Sun, they lurk in the inner sanctum of almost every galaxy of stars in the universe. Theyre mysterious chasms so destructive and unforgiving that not even light can escape their deadly wrath.Recent research, however, has led to a cascade of new discoveries that have revealed an entirely different side to black holes. As the astrophysicist Caleb Scharf reveals in Gravitys Engines, these chasms in space-time dont just vacuum up everything that comes near them; they also spit out huge beams and clouds of matter. Black holes blow bubbles.With clarity and keen intellect, Scharf masterfully explains how these bubbles profoundly rearrange the cosmos around them. Engaging with our deepest questions about the universe, he takes us on an intimate journey through the endlessly colorful place we call our galaxy and reminds us that the Milky Way sits in a special place in the cosmic zooa sweet spot of properties. Is it coincidental that we find ourselves here at this place and time? Could there be a deeper connection between the nature of black holes and their role in the universe and the phenomenon of life? We are, after all, made of the stuff of stars.

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    Gravity’s Engines

    7.9 hrs • 8/7/12 • Unabridged
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