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Larry Niven


The Mote in God's Eye
Co-Author Jerry Pournelle
Year 1974
Publisher Orbit
ISBN 0860079066



In the year 3016, the Second Empire of Man spans hundreds of star systems, thanks to the faster-than-light Alderson Drive. No other intelligent beings have ever been encountered, not until a light sail probe enters a human system carrying a dead alien. The probe is traced to the Mote, an isolated star in a thick dust cloud, and an expedition is dispatched.

In the Mote the humans find an ancient civilization--at least one million years old--that has always been bottled up in their cloistered solar system for lack of a star drive. The Moties are welcoming and kind, yet rather evasive about certain aspects of their society. It seems the Moties have a dark problem, one they've been unable to solve in over a million years.





'The best novel about human beings making first contact with intelligent but utterly nonhuman aliens I have ever seen, and possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read.'
Robert Heinlein

'A spellbinder, a swashbuckler ... and best of all it has a brilliant new approach to that fascinating problem - first contact with aliens.'
Frank Herbert



Floating Free



Credit: NASA

Floating Free
In February 1984, Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless II went further away from the confines and safety of his ship than any previous astronaut had ever been. This space first was made possible by the Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU, a nitrogen jet propelled backpack. After a series of test maneuvers inside and above Challenger's payload bay, McCandless went "free-flying" to a distance of 320 feet away from the Orbiter. This stunning orbital panorama view shows McCandless out there amongst the black and blue of Earth and space.

NASA Image of the day archive





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