STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Mission to Pluto

mission-to-pluto-smMission to Pluto: the first visit to an ice dwarf and the Kuiper belt (Scientists in the Field)

by Mary Kay Carson; photos by Tom Uhlman

80 pages; ages 10-12

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017

It takes a lot of work to get to Pluto: teams of scientists and engineers, mission control specialists who keep your vehicle on track, and time. Nearly ten years of time – even if your spacecraft is tiny. That’s why the folks at NASA had to build a craft that was durable and could take care of itself.

In 2005, when they were building the New Horizons spacecraft, engineers knew it would need a power source. Solar panels make electricity for most satellites and space probes, “but a sunny day on Pluto is about as bright as twilight on Earth,” writes Mary Kay Carson. So New Horizons carried its own power source: plutonium.

More about the book, and mission-appropriate theme music over at Archimedes Notebook.

STEM Friday

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

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