'One Book, One Batavia' continues with three final programs

 
Submitted by Patricia Leonard
Updated 3/28/2019 12:21 PM
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  • Astronauts on the Space Shuttle mission STS-116 install part of the International Space Station's main backbone in December 2006. On Monday, April 1, Michelle Nichols will present "A Lab Aloft: The International Space Station" as part of the "One Book, One Batavia" series.

    Astronauts on the Space Shuttle mission STS-116 install part of the International Space Station's main backbone in December 2006. On Monday, April 1, Michelle Nichols will present "A Lab Aloft: The International Space Station" as part of the "One Book, One Batavia" series. Courtesy of NASA

During the month of April, the Batavia Public Library, 10 S. Batavia Ave., will present the final three programs in the "One Book, One Batavia" series.

This year's selection is "Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Mankind's First Journey to the Moon" by Robert Kurson.

"One Book, One Batavia" is an annual communitywide reading program presented by the Batavia Public Library in cooperation with Batavia High School and co-sponsored by the Friends of the Batavia Public Library.

No library card is needed, however, advance registration is required. To register, call the reference desk, (630) 879-1393, ext. 200, or visit www.bataviapubliclibrary.org.

On Monday, April 1, Michelle Nichols will present "A Lab Aloft: The International Space Station" at 7 p.m. Nichols is the director of public observing at the Adler Planetarium and a Jet Propulsion Laboratory ambassador.

The International Space Station is a cutting-edge, Earth-orbiting laboratory where astronauts from all over the world live for six months at a time and conduct experiments.

What is life like aboard this enormous spaceport? How does science research benefit humanity on Earth? Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the ISS without having to leave your seat.

Nichols also will present "Through the Eyes of Hubble" at 7 p.m. Monday, April 8.

The Hubble Space Telescope has had more impact on astronomy and the public's awareness of astronomy than any other telescope in history.

This presentation will highlight some of the well-known, and not-so-well-known, images and science from the last 27 years of Hubble's mission -- and a sneak peek at Hubble's 2018 replacement: the James Webb Space Telescope.

For the final program in the series, William Higgins will present "New Horizons" at 7 p.m. Monday, April 15. Higgins is an engineering physicist at Fermilab and a Jet Propulsion Laboratory ambassador.

The destinations of New Horizons, a spacecraft launched in 2006, are more distant than any other yet explored.

Its dramatic flyby of Pluto in 2015 revealed fabulous landscapes, a remarkable atmosphere, and a family of frigid moons. It kept moving onward for a billion miles.

On New Year's Day 2019, New Horizons encountered the tiny asteroid-like object 2014 MU69, a frozen body that's been dubbed "Ultima Thule."

At the edge of the Solar System, for years to come, the NASA mission will continue through a region known as the Kuiper belt.

'Rocket Men' book

By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the moon by President Kennedy's end-of-decade deadline and to triumph over the Soviets in space.

With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: it would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the moon -- in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas.

Join the author on one of history's greatest explorations -- Apollo 8, a mission many still call the greatest ever undertaken in space.

Kurson is the author of four New York Times best-selling books, including "Shadow Divers" and "Rocket Men." The Chicagoan began his career as an attorney, graduating from Harvard Law School, and practicing real estate law.

Kurson's professional writing career began at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he started as a data entry clerk and soon gained a full-time features writing job. In 2000, Esquire published "My Favorite Teacher," his first magazine story, which became a finalist for a National Magazine Award.

He moved from the Sun-Times to Chicago Magazine, then to Esquire, where he won a National Magazine Award and was a contributing editor for years. His stories have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications.

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