• Book,  Nancy's news

    Now Announcing: Book #2!

    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…

  • Cool Stuff

    Total Solar Eclipse — One Year Ago

    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…

  • Cool Stuff

    Raise a Toast to the Night Sky

    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.

  • Cool Stuff,  Incredible Stories From Space,  Travels

    Incredible Stories From the Tucson Festival of Books!

    @TFOB with authors @Nancy_A @NathaliaHolt talking #space, #gender, #storytelling. Happy to see so many book lovers! pic.twitter.com/rtB3VOTfES — Julian Guthrie (@JulianGuthrie) March 12, 2017 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.

  • Cool Stuff,  Incredible Stories From Space,  Travels

    Heading out for the Tucson Festival of Books

    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…

  • Cool Stuff,  Incredible Stories From Space

    It’s Maine Calling! Interview with Maine Public Radio

    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…

  • Book,  Incredible Stories From Space

    Upcoming Book Events for “Incredible Stories From Space”

    Here are a list of upcoming events, book signings, presentations and appearances for “Incredible Stories from Space.” Hope to see you there! [table id=1 /] PAST EVENTS 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

  • Book,  Incredible Stories From Space

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

    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,  Incredible Stories From Space,  Nancy's news

    Book Release Day: December 20

    Excellent book for the space fan on your list: https://t.co/rJZnXYMWcN @Nancy_A pic.twitter.com/fiU9CQi5JT — Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) December 20, 2016 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…

  • Book,  Incredible Stories From Space

    First Reviews for “Incredible Stories From Space”

    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…

  • Book,  Incredible Stories From Space,  Nancy's news

    A Guest on “The Space Show”

    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…

  • Book,  Incredible Stories From Space

    Book Update: New Release Date is December 20

    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…

  • Cool Stuff

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

    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.

  • Book,  Incredible Stories From Space,  Nancy's news

    Book Update: Houston, We’ve Had a Problem

    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.…

  • Incredible Stories From Space,  Nancy's news

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

    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…

  • Cool Stuff,  Nancy's news

    I’m Writing a Book!

    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…

  • Cool Stuff,  Mars

    I’m Going to Mars, How About You?

    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),…

  • Nancy's news

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

    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.

  • Astronauts,  Cool Stuff,  Launches

    I Knew Chris Hadfield Before He was an Internet Sensation

    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…