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ASK Bookshelf (ASK 38)

Here are descriptions of two books that we believe will interest ASK readers.

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ASK Reader Response

In the fall 2009 issue of ASK, Ed Hoffman wrote that the excessive optimism or pessimism of project teams can obscure the realities they need to understand to carry out their projects successfully.

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Shadows of future astrobiologists.
Are We Alone? Answering This Question Is Not a Lone Venture

By Wendy Dolci, Ed Goolish, and Carl Pilcher   How does life begin and evolve? Is there life elsewhere in the universe? What is the future of life on Earth and beyond?

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The Hidden Objective of Lessons Learned
Petrobras and the Power of Stories

By Alexandre Korowajczuk and Andrea Coelho Farias Almeida   One afternoon in October 1986, after more than thirty years searching for petroleum in the Amazon region, we were drilling the last authorized well in the Urucu region.

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Chris Beasley, NASA Ames mechanical engineer, places the PRESat payload into a gold press vessel.
The Next Big Thing Is Small

By Haley Stephenson Satellites that can fit in a backpack are shrinking technology, reframing satellite science, and providing valuable mission training and experience to the next generation of engineers.

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Artist's concept of the Voyager spacecraft with its antenna pointing to Earth.
NASA Past and Future: A Personal Memoir

By Ken Randle   When I was working for the Sperry Corporation in the sixties, we submitted a proposal to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to provide support for their unmanned space exploration programs.

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Masten Space Systems' "Xombie" vehicle ascending during its first flight.
Open-Door Innovation

By Andrew Petro   The idea behind NASA’s Centennial Challenges program, which offers cash prizes for successful solutions to important and clearly defined technical problems, is that innovation can come from anywhere.

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The improvised tracker placed on the US LAB module window.
Cities at Night: An Orbital Perspective

  By Donald Pettit Cities at night, when viewed from orbit, offer a spectacular display.

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NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory and its Taurus booster lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. A contingency was declared a few minutes later.
Anatomy of a Mishap Investigation

By Rick Obenschain   On February 24, 2009, a Taurus XL launch vehicle carrying the Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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