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Science Books

March 1, 2007

Bomb Scare: The History And Future Of Nuclear Weapons
Joseph Cirincione (2007)
ISBN: 0231135106

As the threat of nuclear terror raises its ugly head, Joseph Cirincione, Vice President for National Security at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C, brings us this comprehensive and timely history of today's nuclear arsenal. Cirincione writes that the number of nuclear weapons has been increasing at a startling rate, yet nobody seems to know how to stem their development, let alone rid the world of them. Beginning with scientists' first dalliances with atomic energy during the 1930s, Cirincione brings us up to speed on the atomic age, which ends with Iran's current quest for nuclear weapons. Bomb Scare reveals how we have managed to ensnare ourselves in a complex web of our own making, where a toxic combination of science, politics and strategy have contributed to the stockpiling of devastating nuclear weapons and the very real potential of a nuclear terrorist attack. But on the flip side, Cirincione notes that there are still many countries that choose not to pursue a nuclear program. After meticulous consideration of the reasons why this is the case, Cirincione arrives at a way in which the world can solve its nuclear proliferation problem by applying equal measures of might and mediation. Cirincione's solution may be complex, nuanced, and a tad hopeful, but humanity's continued existence may hinge upon ideas like those presented in Bomb Scare.

Too Far From Home: A Story Of Life And Death In Space
Chris Jones (2007)
ISBN: 0385514654

Everyone remembers the space shuttle Columbia's fateful return to Earth in 2003, but how many of us remember the subsequent plight of the astronauts left stranded on the International Space Station? What would have gone through these astronauts' minds as they were made aware that they no longer had a ride home? Esquire journalist Chris Jones, captures superbly the sobering mood that descended upon NASA and the astronauts of the Expedition 6 team - comprised of men such as U.S. astronauts Donald Pettit and Kenneth Bowersox, and Russian flight engineer Nikolai Budarin - after realizing that another shuttle mission may be months, or even years, away. In the short term, how could supplies be transferred to the ISS, and how, ultimately, could the men be brought home? Together, both Houston and Moscow worked against time to arrive at a solution to a problem that seemed to have come straight from the pages of a Hollywood script. There was really only one option left open, but it was a long shot, and ground control knew it. Bowersox, Budarin, and Pettit would have to stake their lives on the Russian-built Soyuz TMA-1 capsule that was attached to the ISS. The Soyuz capsule was constructed in the 1960s, and in 1971 it was responsible for the deaths of 3 Russian astronauts, so the chances of the Soyuz 11 transporting 3 more astronauts safely back to Earth seemed remote at best. Too Far From Home could quite possibly turn out to be the most heart-pounding adventure narrative of 2007... and it's all true!

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