Title: Destination: Space
Author: Dr. Dave Williams
Category: Children’s Book/Astronomy
Review by: Scifi and Scary
Blurb for Destination: Space
Will humans ever be able to live on other planets? Former NASA astronaut Dr. Dave Williams is the person to ask.
It turns out that Earth is a pretty good place to live. Finding other habitable environments in space is no easy task: temperatures on Mercury are ten times hotter than on Earth; winter on Neptune lasts about forty years, and Uranus is ten billion miles (sixteen billion kilometers) away.
But there is one planet that looks promising: Mars. Even though it takes six months to get there, Mars most closely resembles Earth. So what would it take to make it habitable—and what would life look like there?
As in the other three titles in the Dr. Dave: Astronaut series, this book demystifies space travel. The science is explained in simple terms while the sense of adventure is ever-present. This book belongs in the hands of every child interested in space, and in every classroom where STEM is taught.
Destination: Space Review
Destination: Space is all about our ability to find other places than Earth to live. “Dr. Dave” takes readers first through a brief introduction to our history in space before covering why Earth is so special. As adults many of us are acquainted with the many challenges that come with finding a habitable planet (or alien life) elsewhere. He does his best to keep it short and to the point. He swiftly moves on to why we would want/need to leave the planet. From there it’s on to examining the various planets in our solar system and talking about the possibilities and the problems.
The illustrations were amusing. The actual pictures a bit bland at times, but they got their point across. The language was a bit too old at times for the young-reader style the book is formatted in. (I had trouble putting my finger on what exactly was the intended age range for this book.)
I don’t feel like Destination: Space gelled together very well. It’s obviously the most basic sort of primer to finding other places to live in space, but it still managed to feel a bit choppy and scattered. Also, sometimes I wondered why the author chose to relay (or not relay) certain pieces of information. Like when he tells readers that they would only need a breathing mask to live on Titan but doesn’t mention the temperature or, you know, the methane rain? He goes more in depth later on, but it still reads a bit weird.
Overall, Destination: Space failed to excite the imagination, but for a little reader who has had absolutely no exposure to the solar system and its (in)hability, this might be a good book. Honestly, I’d recommend waiting until they were a little bit older and able to handle some of the more in-depth stuff.