I’m Writing a Book!

January 15th, 2016 by Nancy | Print I’m Writing a Book!
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

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