By Alan Katz
Illustrated by Chris Judge
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- Trade Paperback $11.99 $15.49 CAD
- ebook $8.99 $11.99 CAD
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around August 6, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
Everyone has heard the names Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, but what about Michael Collins–the third brave Apollo 11 astronaut who didn’t get to walk on the moon? Many of the most relevant figures in scientific history have remained in the shadows, but not any longer! From Alan Katz’s new Awesome Achievers series, Awesome Achievers in Science gives kids a look behind the scenes at 12 lesser-known scientists whose contributions are personally relevant to their lives today. Each figure is given a traditional biography but is also subject to Katz’s unique brand of silliness, with humorous elements such as imagined poems, song lyrics, and diary entries by or about the not-so-famous figure accompanying each bio.
Spot illustrations throughout add to the lighthearted and appreciative humor each figure receives. Reluctant readers and budding scientists alike will delight in this imaginative and engaging continuation of a new series of laugh-out-loud biographies.
A NOTE FROM ALAN KATZ
What’s an Awesome Achiever? It’s someone who’s Awesome. And an Achiever.
In this book, you’ll find out about twelve such people. They’re scientists who’ve shared their genius-osity (not a word, but you know what I mean) with the world. Their inventions and discoveries have made us healthier, smarter, happier, and safer. It’s likely that you’ll be familiar with their work, and yet, it’s also likely that you’ve never heard of most of these folks.
As I tell you about these Awesome Achievers in science, I’ll also be giving you my own insights into their lives and careers.
Am I Awesome? Am I an Achiever? Not exactly. But Mrs. Anna Bailowitz, my third-grade teacher, once said I was a nice boy.
That was good enough for me. And it made my parents happy.
I hope this book makes you happy.
I’ll get out of the way now—so you can find out about some Awesome Achievers in science.
Enjoy… and thanks!
MEET MICHAEL COLLINS
Imagine taking a road trip across the country to the greatest theme park in the world… and then not even getting out of the car. That’s kind of what Michael Collins did as he soared to the moon but didn’t get the chance to step onto it.
Michael Collins has a storied history in the U.S. Military and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) programs. He began his career as a graduate of the United States Military Academy (go Army!) and entered the United States Air Force in the early 1950s. While in the Air Force, he became a major general; he flew F-86 Sabre fighters in France and then visited air force bases in other countries as an instructor on the maintenance and flying of new aircraft. That experience allowed him to accumulate the necessary number of flight hours required to apply for the United States Air Force Experimental Test Pilot School; in 1960, his classmates included future astronauts Frank Borman (Apollo 8, Gemini 7 missions) and Jim Irwin (Apollo 15).
His decision to join NASA—a relatively new program at the time—came after watching John Glenn’s 1962 Mercury-Atlas 6 flight. The idea of orbiting the Earth in just ninety minutes dazzled him (who wouldn’t feel that way?) and he simply had to apply. Major General Collins was accepted in 1963, and after he completed a demanding training program, he was assigned to Gemini 10. Gemini 10’s three-day mission was to rendezvous with another spacecraft in orbit (astronaut Collins was the first to spacewalk from one spacecraft to another) and perform medical, technical, and scientific experiments.
After that, astronaut Collins was assigned to Apollo 11, the first manned flight to the moon. Given that he was the only crewmember with spaceflight experience, he was selected as command module pilot—which meant he was to remain on board the Columbia while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin famously walked the surface of the moon. Now, you might think astronaut Collins was lonely while flying solo approximately 250,000 miles from home. It’s only natural to think that. I’d certainly be lonely up there. Scared, even. I’d probably also feel a little left out. But none of that was true for astronaut Collins.
Although it has been said that “not since Adam has any human known such solitude,” astronaut Collins knew that he was quite important to the mission. In his autobiography, he wrote that “this venture has been structured for three men, and I consider my third to be as necessary as either of the other two.” During the forty-eight minutes of each orbit that he was out of radio contact with Earth, the feeling he reported was not loneliness but rather “awareness, anticipation, satisfaction, confidence, almost exultation (joy).”
Astronaut Collins was a vital part of the successful Apollo 11 mission; without him, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would not have been able to walk the surface of the moon. And though he never personally touched the planet, astronaut Michael Collins did touch our lives by being one of only twenty-four humans to fly to the moon.
- On Sale
- Aug 6, 2019
- Page Count
- 112 pages
- Running Press Kids