Cost: £22.99 ($36.95), From: Haynes Publishing
Calling all budding spacecraft engineers! This wonderful manual from Haynes is right up your street: a complete guide to the biggest interplanetary space mission ever launched. Written expertly by Ralph Lorenz, who is a scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, United States, and who has worked on both Cassini and the little Titan-bound Huygens probe that it carried with it, this manual tells the reader exactly how this amazing mission was put together. It describes how Cassini was built, why certain instruments and cameras were chosen to fly on the mission, and how they work. It’s packed with pictures and diagrams, including some brilliant labelled schematics of Cassini, and describes not only the design and the construction of the mission, but some of the adventures it had after launch, flying past Jupiter, arriving into orbit around Saturn, its flybys of Titan and Saturn’s other moons, and Huygens’ daring descent through Titan’s atmosphere to land on the surface. Perfectly timed for publication as Cassini meets its dramatic demise in the ringed planet’s atmosphere, this manual is a little technical in places, but for readers who are fascinated by how cutting- edge technology is built, or for students who are interested in a career in building satellites and spacecraft, this really is a book you can’t do without.
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