Now Announcing: Book #2!

August 28th, 2018 by Nancy 0

I’m excited to officially announce that I’m writing another book! The picture above might give you a hint about the topic… Apollo 11! The book will come out in 2019, in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing. It will tell the stories of some of the 400,000 people who worked behind the scenes to make this mission possible, and detail the engineering, science and technology that enabled “this most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which humankind had ever embarked.”

I’ve been working towards writing this book since about the first of the year, but am now officially under contract. I have interviewed over 30 people so far who worked at the Manned Spacecraft Center/Johnson Space Center, MIT and Draper, and contractors like North American, Honeywell, 3M, Dupont and more. I’ve heard some amazing stories and have talked to some wonderful people who sacrificed a lot to make the Apollo program possible.

I’m extremely grateful to Page Street for giving me the opportunity to share some of the untold stories of these engineers and scientists — many who are in their 80’s and 90’s — and I’ve been honored and humbled to be able to talk to so many who were involved in this historic mission.

I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, but hope to keep you posted on my progress and adventures. I’ll be going to Houston in a few weeks to interview more people and do more research. As Mike Collins said during the flight to the Moon, “It is most important that we be going forward!:

Total Solar Eclipse — One Year Ago

August 21st, 2018 by Nancy 0

I have been meaning to post my experiences during the Great American Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017 … What can I say? It’s been a busy year! So, here – a year later – is a reminiscence of that incredible day.

The day before, though, I had the chance to meet up in St. Louis with the “Eclipse Escape” crew, led by two of my most favorite people in the world, Fraser Cain and Pamela Gay. I gave a presentation to the 100-plus crew about my book “Incredible Stories From Space” and got to meet IRL a lot of people I’ve known for years online. It was a blast.

The day of the eclipse, I got up early and headed about 40 miles south of St. Louis to the town of Festus, Missouri. I had decided several months earlier that I didn’t want to “cover” the eclipse as a journalist, I just wanted to experience it. I coordinated with longtime good friends Leza and Daryl as to the location so we could be together for the eclipse.

Friends Daryl and Leza joined me in Festus, MO for the eclipse.

The park at Festus was exactly the type of spot I was looking for: a huge, wide open area with a great view of the sky. We chose a spot near some trees, however, as it was a warm, humid day and being able to duck into the shade occasionally was perfect.

I arrived about 8 am, and watched as people started to stream in. Not long after, I couldn’t access the internet on my phone because of the high demand and so many people in one little spot. So much for sharing things on social media! But it was a great chance to pull out my bag of goodies. I had supplies to make pinhole viewers, as well as a couple of colanders and some info sheets.

A few clouds drifted here and there, but mostly it was clear. Anytime a cloud appeared on the horizon, I got a little nervous.

As the eclipse began, the colander really worked well to show the progress of the Moon moving over the face of the Sun.

Tiny ‘eclipses’ showing through the holes of a colander. Credit: Nancy Atkinson.

It was great to watch it with the eclipse glasses too.

The last few minutes leading up to totality, things started to get weird. It started to get dark; a strange, eerie darkness right by us and above us, but yet out on the horizon all around us where it was clear of trees, you could actually see the light outside of the 70-mile wide shadow. It grew darker and the crickets started to chirp. Some street lights in a nearby parking lot turned on. A point of light began to be visible in the sky — it was the planet Venus.

Then the eclipsed crescent Sun grew smaller and smaller. For the first time in my life I then saw Baily’s Beads.

Suddenly the Moon seemed to pop into place directly over the Sun. As one, the crowd oohed, ahhhed, whooped, hollered and cheered.

My lame picture of totality, taken with my phone camera. Credit: Nancy Atkinson

At totality, the sight was amazing and astonishing. ‘Otherworldly’ was the word that came to mind and I immediately thought how early cultures witnessing a total solar eclipse would have surely thought the world was ending or that the gods had caused such an indescribable sight. No image I have seen of the eclipse (and I’ve seen a lot!!) captures, portrays or does justice to the sight we saw above us in Festus. Even though it was hot, I got chills.

I couldn’t breathe, but yet had to breathe because I started crying. I didn’t realize it at the time, but after re-watching the movie “Contact” a few months ago, my reaction to the eclipse was almost an exact duplicate of how Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) reacted to seeing galaxies across the universe:

“No … no words. No words to describe it. I didn’t know…. I didn’t know it would be so beautiful….I didn’t know…”

Some red or pink spots showed up around the corona, glistening like rubies here and there around the now dark disk of the Sun. This was something I wasn’t expecting, but they were prominences around the Sun, which is hot hydrogen gas rising from the lowest layer of the Sun’s atmosphere.

We had 2 minutes and 40 seconds of totality in Festus, and every second was amazing. I tried to take it all in – the amazing sight above me, the reaction of people around me, the strange darkness and night-time sounds from crickets, but no birds chirping.

Then – suddenly and way too soon — the first point of light reappeared at the edge of the Sun’s limb, meaning totality was coming to an end and everyone needed to get their eclipse glasses back on. While the darkness came gradually before totality, it quickly became as bright as full-sun, even though just a sliver of Sun was showing.

Many people packed up right after that, but I wanted to savor the day and enjoy the other side of the eclipse, and watched through my glasses as the Sun gradually returned to full size. The traffic could wait.

It was an amazing experience and I could see myself easily becoming and eclipse hopper! We are already making plans for April 8, 2024! Don’t miss it!

You can see lots of great eclipse images from people around the country in an article I put together for Universe Today.

Here’s a great video I found online from other folks who were at Festus, it really captures the experience!

Raise a Toast to the Night Sky

August 16th, 2017 by Nancy 0

I’ve been known to enjoy a brew from time to time, so when I was asked to try out some cool new drinkware from UncommonGreen, I was all in.

This company has been making unique glassware and other products for several years that have maps of cities, states, college campuses and even marathon routes etched on them. They recently added a new type of map: the night sky.
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Incredible Stories From the Tucson Festival of Books!

March 15th, 2017 by Nancy 0

Although I’m still a bit groggy after taking a red-eye flight home, I’ve been completely energized by my experiences this past weekend at the Tucson Festival of Books. What an amazing event and an incredible experience! Powered by over 2,000 volunteers, 350 participating authors and over 130,000 visitors, this Festival celebrates our love of books and stories, and I’m so grateful to have had the chance to be part of it.

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Heading out for the Tucson Festival of Books

March 9th, 2017 by Nancy 0

I am absolutely excited to be participating in the 2017 Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona on March 11 and 12! This will be my first time attending such an event and I’ll be joining 350 other authors who will be presenting panel sessions and discussions about their books.

If you’ll be there too I’d love to meet you! You’ll probably be able to find me most anytime at the Science City area but here are the panel sessions I’m involved in:

“Incredible Stories From Space” at 1 pm on Saturday, March 11 at the Science City Main Stage. I’m so looking forward to teaming up with planetary scientist Kristin Block who is with the HiRISE team on the Mars Reconnaissaince Orbiter mission as we “share compelling personal insights from NASA space missions, taking you behind the scenes of the unmanned missions that are transforming our understanding of the solar system and beyond.” (And I’m honored that the Festival planners chose to name our session after my book!)

“Women Writing About Women in Science, 1 pm on Sunday March 12 at the Science City Main Stage. I am absolutely thrilled to be moderating a panel session that includes planetary scientist Kristin Block, and fellow authors Nathalia Holt, author of “Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us from Missiles to the Moon to Mars” and Julian Guthrie, who wrote “How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight.” We’ll be talking about our experiences as women writing about other women (and men, too) in the sciences, and their influences and challenges.

Hope to see you there!!

It’s Maine Calling! Interview with Maine Public Radio

January 31st, 2017 by Nancy 0

In the studios of KSJR in Collegeville, Minnesota, the first public radio station in MN, where they started broadcasting 50 years ago, in 1967.

I was honored to be asked to join a radio call-in show on Maine Public Radio, “Maine Calling.” I joined host Irwin Gratz and astronomer Edward Gleason from the University of Southern Maine, and we discussed various events in space and astronomy coming up in 2017 and provided updates on several of the missions that were part of “Incredible Stories From Space.”

Irwin and Edward were delightful to talk with and listeners called in with great questions. You can listen to the replay of the 50-minute show at the Maine Public Radio website

Another fun aspect of this interview was I joined them from the studios of Minnesota’s first public radio station, KSJR, on the campus of St. John’s University. KSJR started broadcasting 50 years ago, and it’s where Garrison Keillor started his career!
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Upcoming Book Events for “Incredible Stories From Space”

January 10th, 2017 by Nancy 0

Here are a list of upcoming events, book signings, presentations and appearances for “Incredible Stories from Space.” Hope to see you there!

Wed. Jan 11, 20176:00 pmBook Launch Event, Upsala Public Library, Upsala, MN
Sun. Jan 15, 20172:00 pmBook Signing, Barnes & Noble, Roseville, MN
Tues. Jan 177:00 pmAuthor Event, Magers & Quinn Booksellers
Mon. Jan 23, 20176:00 pmAuthor Visit with Nancy Atkinson, Melrose Public Library, Melrose, MN
Tues. Jan 245:00 am WGN Radio (Chicago) "The Opening Bell with Steve Grzanich"
Fri. Jan 27, 201712:00 Noon (1 pm EST)Maine Public Radio "Maine Calling"
Wed. Feb 8, 20177:00 pmArrowhead Astronomical Society/ Alworth Planetarium, U of Minnesota, Duluth
Fri. Feb 17, 20176:30 pmIncredible Stories from Space at the Como Planetarium
Sat. Mar 11, 2017TBDTucson Festival of Books, Author Panel
Sun. Mar 12, 2017TBDTucson Festival of Books, moderator for author panel


Fri Oct. 28, 2016: University of Minnesota Morris, Astronomy and English classes
Mon Nov. 14, 2016: McKenna Crossing, Prior Lake, MN
Fri Dec. 9, 2016: Weekly Space Hangout show (internet)
Tues Dec. 13, 2016 The Space Show radio/internet show
Tues Dec. 20, 2016 BOOK RELEASE DATE
Tues. Jan 10, 2017 Jackson Middle School Hangout
Wed. Jan 11, 2017 Jackson Middle School Hangout

Hang Out With “Incredible Stories” on the Weekly Space Hangout

January 8th, 2017 by Nancy 0

Thanks to my mentor, boss and friend Fraser Cain for having me as a “guest” on the Weekly Space Hangout to talk about “Incredible Stories From Space!” It was fun to be back … I used to be on the WSH quite a bit, but with writing the book and with my situation of not having wired internet (long story about living in the boonies), it has been a while since I’ve been able to participate.

The show actually starts about 5 minutes into the video above, as the first few minutes is prepping for the show. We talk about the book right away after the 5 minute mark. Enjoy!

Book Release Day: December 20

January 8th, 2017 by Nancy 0

December 20 is the date I had been looking forward to for quite some time. After the delay in publishing the book from the originally planned date of Nov. 15, it seemed a long time in coming!

Because of the delay in the pub date, we had decided not to hold a “book launch” event on the release date because of the proximity to the holidays. Everyone just has so much going on the week before Christmas, and so I didn’t want to add another event on the already busy calendars of friends and family. So, I knew the day would be relatively quiet — at least personally — without an event to attend. My husband did take me out to dinner, however, at the Minneapolis landmark, Murrays. It was wonderful!

The day started off with two very positive reviews on space-related websites SpaceRef and Space Flight Insider, and quite a bit of buzz on social media (at least in my circles!) The highlight was when former astronaut Chris Hadfield (1.8 million followers) Tweeted a recommendation for the book, saying “Excellent book for the space fan on your list” with a link to the book on my website. What a thrill! It was fun responding to all the comments, too!

Then, fellow space journalist and friend Emily Lakdawalla pointed out to me that “Incredible Stories” was listed as the “#1 New Release in Astronomy and Astrophysics!”

The excitement of the day was tempered somewhat when I realized the online book sellers had the book listed as “temporarily out of stock.” It seems a glitch at Macmillan’s warehouse caused a delay in getting the books to their destinations. So the book wasn’t in stores or available to be shipped to those who had pre-ordered. While I tried to remain positive, I was disappointed to be sure, not to mention feeling a little snake-bit after this second delay in the distribution of the books.

Again, friends and family came to the rescue, posting positive feedback and comments on social media and sending text messages of support.

As of this writing, “Incredible Stories From Space” continues to hold a spot near the top of the “Hot New Releases,” so again, I’m incredibly grateful and thankful for all the support and interest in the book.

First Reviews for “Incredible Stories From Space”

January 8th, 2017 by Nancy 0

Drumroll please, I’m excited to share some of the early reviews for “Incredible Stories From Space!

I’m incredibly grateful for the the journalists who have taken the time to read the book and write reviews, and for the kind words (so far!) the book is receiving.

Emily Lakdawalla from the Planetary Society posted her annual “recommended space books for kids of all ages,” and here’s a excerpt of what she has to say about “ISFS”:

Incredible Stories from Space provides a crash course on the exciting stories of nine currently active robotic space missions, as related to author Nancy Atkinson by the women and men who work on them. Atkinson weaves together the challenges of preparation, adventures of exploration, and scientifically awesome results in the way she has done at Universe Today for more than a decade. The book is up-to-the-minute with its events and facts.

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A Guest on “The Space Show”

January 2nd, 2017 by Nancy 0

I was honored to be on David Livingston’s long-running internet radio talk show about all things space, “The Space Show” on December 13, 2016 to talk about “Incredible Stories From Space.” Since it aired exactly a week before the release date for the book, timing was great to get the word out about pre-ordering the book to get it in time for the holidays.

I’ve been on the show before, and David always asks great questions to allow his guests to fully say the things that are important about their topic. He also has a great listener base, so people emailed or called in with great questions, too. It was a fun conversation, and even though I was a little nervous to start off, David has a way of making everyone feel comfortable.

Here’s the page on The Space Show website about the broadcast , and the page includes a great overview of our conversation. Here’s the link to download the audio (11.25 MB)

A little behind-the-scenes about me doing the show that night: When David said at the beginning of the show, “We are glad Nancy has thawed out enough to be on the show tonight,” he was hinting at the frantic evening I had preparing for the show. Like many other things associated with the release of this book, being on the show didn’t come easy. David likes his guests to use a land-line to do the live on-air interview, and since we don’t have a land-line at our house, I had a plan all lined up of going to my mother-in-law’s house where I was going to go to do the show. But it was an extremely cold day in Minnesota on December 13, and for the first time ever in my life, my car wouldn’t start.

Normally, that wouldn’t be a big problem because we have two cars. But my husband was away on business. And we live out in the boonies, so getting car help at the last minute is near impossible. So I got a hold of David and told him my predicament. He said my cell phone sounded pretty good so he was willing to give it a whirl, and it ended up working out just fine. I just had more than a few moments of panic and running around trying to find battery chargers, etc, all to no avail. But it ended up working out just fine, so thanks to David for being willing to take a chance on my cell phone reception!

Book Update: New Release Date is December 20

November 15th, 2016 by Nancy 0


I wanted to provide an update on the publication date for “Incredible Stories From Space,” following the news that a font corruption problem was found after the initial printing (read about that here). The new date the book will be released is (drumroll, please)

December 20, 2016

This means that those of you in the western hemisphere can now pre-order the book (find it here on Amazon, and here on Barnes and Noble and here on IndieBound) and receive it in time for the holidays.

Those holidays include Winter Solstice, Festivus, Chanukah, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, and of course National Fruitcake Day (December 27, in case you were wondering).

Just a little plug here, but Amazon and B&N are both having great sale prices on the book right now, so take advantage! The book is available in both paperback and on Kindle, as a Kindle etextbook, which give you more interactive options while you read.

For my friends in Europe, the release date will be January 9, 2017.

I’m so excited to be able to share the stories of over 35 NASA scientists and engineers to introduce more people to the plucky robots out there exploring the cosmos!

Vote for Bob King and His New Night Sky Observing Book!

November 8th, 2016 by Nancy 0


Since today is Election Day in the US, I’d like to suggest that you … buy Bob King’s new book about how to see things in the night sky WITHOUT any expensive, fancy equipment, just your eyeballs!

Have you always wondered about things you’ve seen in the night sky and wanted an easy explanation? Have you always wondered why stars twinkle, where to find the constellations (and what ARE constellations, anyway??) and what that bright light moving across the sky is (it’s probably NOT a UFO!), Bob’s book “Night Sky With the Naked Eye” is the perfect ‘explainer’ and companion.
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Book Update: Houston, We’ve Had a Problem

November 1st, 2016 by Nancy 6

A Box of books

I have some good news and some bad news about my upcoming book, “Incredible Stories From Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.”

The good news is that I received a box of the books, which is certainly an exciting moment in the life of anyone who has written a book!

The bad news is, a problem was discovered.

During production, a “very rare” (according to my publisher) font corruption problem occurred and it wasn’t detected until after the book was printed.

A note from Page Street‘s editor-in-chief Will Kiester explains that what happened is a font got corrupted in the color reproduction phase. “However, we don’t as a matter of course reread the book by then (nor does any other publisher as far as I know),” he said. “It’s a rarity and not something expected. For example, this is the first time this has happened to me in my 25 year career.”

Therefore, the books will need to be reprinted, which will delay the originally planned release date of November 15. As of yet, I don’t have a firm new date for the release, but I’m trusting (hoping) that it will be sometime in December. I will definitely provide updates here and on social media.

Murphy’s law? Nothing good ever comes easy? Feel free to leave me some good quotes/positive thoughts!

While this delay in my book ‘launch’ is certainly disappointing, I’m hoping I can later look back on this as just a bump in the road, a hurdle to be crossed, just as many of the missions I wrote about in the book had to overcome obstacles to get launched to space.

Thanks, everyone!

The Big Reveal: Book Cover for “Incredible Stories From Space”

October 12th, 2016 by Nancy 0


After nearly a year of work, thousands of miles of travel, and numerous interviews with nearly 40 NASA scientists and engineers, it is now a countdown of less than five weeks to the release of my first book, “Incredible Stories From Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.”

In the book, I have the opportunity to share the stories told to me by those scientists and engineers, stories that chronicle the struggles and triumphs of several robotic missions that are truly changing our understanding of the Solar System and beyond. I am honored and humbled to share their stories. I’m also grateful that I could travel to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Space Telescope Science Institute, Goddard Space Flight Center, and the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins University to see many of the “mission controls” for the spacecraft and see where all the action happens.

Here’s a look at the final version of the book cover, above, as it has been revised a few times. While my publisher, Page Street, had the final say, the cover — as well as the title — went through several changes and revisions. I love the ‘selfie’ of Curiosity that was finally chosen. A friend on Facebook, Tony Rice, said that Curiosity’s pensive, head-down pose always reminds him of a famous portrait of John F. Kennedy:


Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some “behind-the-scenes” of writing the book as well as providing previews of several chapters, each which cover a different mission. I’ll be posting articles here as well as on Universe Today. Also look for some upcoming book ‘giveaways.’

My sincere and humble thanks to the NASA scientists who shared their stories and experiences and provided a window into the amazing and unique work they do, making this book possible:

Ashwin Vasavada and John Michael Morookian (Curiosity Rover); Alan Stern, Hal Weaver and Alice Bowman (New Horizons); Marc Rayman and Keri Bean (Dawn), Linda Spilker, Earl Maize, and Robert West (Cassini); Rich Zurek, Dan Johnston, Alfred McEwen, Christian Schaller, Kristin Block, Sarah Milkovich, Neil Mottinger, and Ari Espinoza (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter); Rick Nybakken and Steve Levin (Juno); Dean Pesnell, Alex Young, and Tom Woods (Solar Dynamics Observatory); Rich Vondrak, Noah Petro, Mark Robinson, Lillian Ostrach, Tony Colaprete and Jennifer Heldmann (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter); Ken Sembach, Zolt Levay, Helmut Jenkner, Carol Christian, and Frank Cepollina (Hubble Space Telescope); Natalie Batalha, Tom Barclay, and Wesley Traub (Kepler Space Telescope).

I look forward to sharing more insight about the book and I hope readers will enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it!

P.S. — Also want to note that another Universe Today writer, Bob King, also has a book coming out with Page Street. “Night Sky With the Naked Eye: How to Find Planets, Constellations, Satellites and Other Night Sky Wonders Without a Telescope” is a wonderful guide to observing the night sky with just your eyes. You can find it here on Amazon, or Bob wrote a post on Universe Today about the book.

I’m Writing a Book!

January 15th, 2016 by Nancy 1
Marker in the floor of the Mission Control room at the Space Flight Operations Facility at JPL. Image credit: Nancy Atkinson

Marker in the floor of the Mission Control room at the Space Flight Operations Facility at JPL. Image credit: Nancy Atkinson

This week, I’ve been in California at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I’ve been wanting to visit JPL for years and years, and until now it has never really worked out to do so. But I’m out here for a very special reason: I’m doing interviews with scientists and engineers because I’m writing a book.

What? Wheeeeee!

I’ve been going back and forth between those two exclamations for the past month and a half. Sometimes I still can’t believe it, but I’m really excited. It’s actually just sinking in that I have this tremendous opportunity, but being at JPL has made it seem more of a reality. Plus, now that I have done over a dozen interviews the past few days, I need to start writing, and writing like crazy.

Curiosity rover model at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Curiosity rover model at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

A few details:

So, what am I writing? The book will be an overview of several different current robotic space missions. We’re still deciding on the title, but the working title has been “10 Space Missions Changing Our View of the Solar System and Beyond.” That is definitely too long and unwieldy, but it is a good description of what the book will entail. It will be geared toward young adult to adult audiences.

The publisher is Page Street Publishing. They are a subsidiary of Macmillan, and so far have published things like specialty cookbooks and various “how to” books. My book is their first foray into a topic like space exploration, so I hope I can do them proud.

What I’m extremely excited about is that Page Street uses full color images throughout their books. And what better images to share than the amazing photos our spacecraft send back to us from distant worlds and galaxies?! Just take a look at some of the books Page Street has done so far, and you’ll see why I’m so excited. Their books are beautiful, large format, and packed with gorgeous images.

2016-01-11 15.32.17

But particularly, I’m thrilled to be able to tell the stories of the spacecraft and the people behind the missions, and the journeys both have taken to make the discoveries and breakthroughs that are showing us the amazing, breathtaking Universe in which we live.

So, you might not see me much on my usual home at Universe Today over the next couple of months or even on social media, but I’ll definitely be busy. I’m humbled and sometimes a little overwhelmed that Page Street has asked me to write this book, but being at JPL has certainly been inspiring, especially their motto of “Dare Mighty Things.”

Wish me luck!

dare mighty things

I’m Going to Mars, How About You?

September 8th, 2015 by Nancy 0

Today’s the last day to sign up to send your name to Mars on the InSight lander, currently scheduled to launch on in March 2016, and here’s the link to where you can sign up to send your name along with the next mission to the Red Planet!

InSight stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, and the mission will send a lander on Mars to study the planet’s insides.

The mission will help us understand the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system (including Earth) more than four billion years ago.

InSight will measure the planet’s “vital signs”: Its “pulse” (seismology), “temperature” (heat flow probe), and “reflexes” (precision tracking).

Find out more about the mission here.

10 Years of Keeping Track of the Universe (Today!)

November 17th, 2014 by Nancy 1

Wayback machine
Today is an important milestone for me, personally and professionally. 10 years ago today I wrote my first article for Universe Today. The rest, as they say, is history.

How this English Major became a science writer is a bit of a long story, one to maybe tell another day. But let’s just say that 15 years ago, if you would have told me I’d be a writer and then Senior Editor for a well-known space and astronomy news organization, I would have said you were crazy. The path of life can be surprising and unexpected – but yet totally fulfilling — with people sometimes unknowingly influencing your steps.
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I Knew Chris Hadfield Before He was an Internet Sensation

May 13th, 2013 by Nancy 0

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield returns home today from his 5-month stay on the International Space Station. But I knew him BEFORE he became such an internet sensation, with all his tweeting and videos and complete awesomeness during his Expedition 34/35. Although I had interviewed him several times before this picture was taken on February 24, 2011, this is the day I actually got to meet him in person. I was attending the launch of STS-133 at Kennedy Space Center, and had just come back inside the KSC press center when, there he was.

It was such a thrill to meet him, but all I can say about this picture is that it was a bad hair day for me, but a good mustache day for Chris.

Fun fact: the person who took the picture was astronaut Kent Rominger, and he was nice enough to actually take 2 pictures when he noticed my eyes were closed on the first shot. (sorry, I’m not posting that one; it’s too embarrassing.)

But here’s a great shot of the launch by my friend and photographer Alan Walters:

The Complete History of Earth in 90 Seconds

November 14th, 2012 by Nancy 0

This great video from the Symphony of Science project provides the entire history of us.