I’m Launching My Book Into Space for Science Education (+ Win a Chance to Meet Buzz Aldrin!)

UPDATE: Due to uncooperative weather, Operation #SpaceBook will now take off on April 25! Stay tuned!

For as long as I can remember, I have romanticized space exploration and travel. My original college major — before I switched to Science in Human Culture — was physics and astronomy. My original college essay? It was about how I intended to launch the world’s first commercial space station. In fact, my final goal in life is to launch a commercial space station into orbit.

I want to be like this guy. Image Credit: Disney/PIXAR

It’s that love of space exploration that led me down a crazy path that will result in my new book Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention going up into near space in what I like to call Operation #SpaceBook!

DREAMS — Doing Research at Extreme Altitudes for Motivated Students — is a Georgia-based high-altitude balloon science platform developed by members of the Columbus Space Program. On Saturday, April 18th, the program will launch its 24th mission towards the stars with a handful of student-led experiments. Going along for the ride will be Captivology. This space-bound copy of the book can be yours, along with a chance to meet Buzz Aldrin and support STEM education.

Curious? Read on.

The DREAMS program is designed to help students launch student-led experiments into space (or as close as one can get without multi-million dollar rockets). The 24th mission will feature a radiation shielding experiment (designed by students) a Kicksat Sprite communications experiment, and a Fluxgate Magnetometer experiment (also designed by students). You can read more about the experiments if you’re curious!

The DREAMS program’s high-altitude balloon goes into “near space” approximately 30–40KM above the ground. It as high up as one can go without a multi-million dollar rocket. The view is breathtaking — literally, because during its ascent, the book will experience temperatures as low as -60C and pressures as low as 0.01 atmospheres — the same conditions as a typical day on Mars!

On Saturday, April 25, somewhere outside of Columbus, Georgia, I will be in a rental car, tracking down a payload that will descend from space with science-focused students and teachers. We will be tracking the payload — Captivology included — via GPS and retrieving it wherever it may land. In fact, here’s the rig that’s taking my book up:

Tell me this isn’t awesome.
The book will be going up with a high-res camera that will take shots of the book every 10 seconds until it reaches its destination.

That’s not all though. After we retrieve the #SpaceBook, I will be offering it off the space copy of Captivology to support Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation, an amazing non-profit that addresses science literacy by igniting children’s passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) through delivering hands-on activities, inspirational messages, educational visits and Innovation Kits.

And that’s not all! The ShareSpace Foundation have also agreed to sweeten the deal by including a ticket to their first-ever ShareSpace Foundation Launch Gala, which includes: meeting famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin and actor John Travolta (+ photo op!); a VIP reception at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida; a four-course meal and open bar; being part of an Apollo 11 commemoration; a tour of the museum; and much more!

A few weeks after the book comes back down from space, we will be posting the charity raffle for the entire package on Omaze.com. And as a reminder, here’s just some of the things that you can win:

  • The space-irradiated, signed, first-edition copy of Captivology that falls back to Earth on April 18th.
  • An exclusive ticket to the first-ever ShareSpace Foundation Launch Gala with Buzz Aldrin and John Travolta.
  • Dinner for you & a guest with me at a restaurant of my choosing in New York, San Francisco or Chicago.
  • 100% of the proceeds from this charity raffle/giveaway will go toward supporting the ShareSpace Foundation and its goal of promoting science education.

I want to give special thank yous to Meredith Perry (Ubeam), Luther Richardson (DREAMS), Stefanie Michaels (AdventureGirl), Christina Korp (Team Aldrin), Linn LeBlanc (The SpareSpace Foundation), Matt Pohlson (Omaze) and Alison Silverman (Omaze) for their help in making this happen.

I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to launch Captivology up to near space AND support a great STEM non-profit in the process! So I hope you’ll tune in for my space adventure the weekend of the 18th!


Image Credit: NASA