This post is dedicated to the big dream dreamers–
For the men and women who looked up at the sky, beyond the clouds and beyond the stars, and imagined it was possible to live in the heavens.
This month, December 2013, marked the 15th anniversary of the International Space Station.
Today’s book is perfect for such a celebration.
A Book of Satellites For You by Franklyn M. Branley | Illustrated by Leonard Kessler
Copyright 1958 | A 1962 edition of the Weekly Reader Children’s Book Club
The cover on this book is in delicate condition, but what’s on the inside is pretty great.
A Book of Satellites For You shares the launch of the first four satellites to orbit the earth, Sputnik I, Sputnik II, Explorer I, and Vanguard I.
My kids and I love the illustration of the little dog inside the top of Sputnik II. Laika the dog was the first space traveler. Just imagine! She was launched into space on Sputnik II, but died a few days later. Poor puppy.
The launch of Explorer I, January 31, 1958, was the first satellite launched by the U.S.
“We do not know how long Explorer I will stay up. But we expect it to circle the earth for three or four years because it is so far away. The farther a satellite is from the earth, the longer it stays up.”
This is why I find this book truly amazing. A Book of Satellites For You was published in 1958. One year after Sputnik I was launched and the same year the U.S. began to launch their very first satellites. It was all brand new and truly awe-inspiring. What guessing and dreaming!
From the history of Explorer I from NASA:
“Explorer 1 made its final transmission on May 23, 1958. It entered Earth’s atmosphere and burned up on March 31, 1970, after more than 58,000 orbits.”
Amazing! Instead of three or four years, Explorer I stayed in outer space for almost 12 years.
My favorite part of the book is the prediction of men and women in space travel. Isn’t it amazing that this travel was dreamed up and accomplished? Wouldn’t it be grand if we could all travel to space?
“A few years from now satellites will have men inside them. Then satellites will look quite different… Satellites of the future will take off from a space station circling the earth.
Men who live in space stations will put together other satellites… Men will continue to use satellites to study outer space. There are many worlds to be explored.”
Illustrations from 1958 on what the space stations may look like.
The International Space Station became a reality 40 years later in 1998. The first crew began living aboard the ISS on November 2, 2000.
Views from the ISS -The images in this video gave me goosebumps.
Our world is a beautiful place.