KATHY SULLIVAN

SCIENTIST, ASTRONAUT, EXPLORER

Kathy Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space and a veteran of three shuttle missions, tells her experience as part of the team that launched, rescued, repaired, and maintained the Hubble Space Telescope in her new book “Handprints on Hubble.”

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Handprints on Hubble

An Astronaut's Story of Invention

By Kathryn D. Sullivan

The Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionized our understanding of the universe. It has, among many other achievements, revealed thousands of galaxies in what seemed to be empty patches of sky; transformed our knowledge of black holes; found dwarf planets with moons orbiting other stars, and measured precisely how fast the universe is expanding. In Handprints on Hubble, retired astronaut Kathy Sullivan describes her work on the NASA team that made all of this possible. Sullivan recounts how she and other astronauts, engineers, and scientists launched, rescued, repaired, and maintained Hubble, the most productive observatory ever built.

Along the way, Sullivan chronicles her early life as a “Sputnik Baby,” her path to NASA through oceanography, and her initiation into the space program where she was one of the first six women to join NASA's astronaut corps. She describes in vivid detail what liftoff feels like inside a spacecraft and shows us the view from a spacewalk. Sullivan explains that “maintainability” was designed into Hubble, and she describes the work of inventing the tools and processes that made on-orbit maintenance possible. Because in-flight repair and upgrade was part of the plan, NASA was able to fix a serious defect in Hubble's mirrors — leaving literal and metaphorical “handprints on Hubble.”

Handprints on Hubble was published with the support of the MIT Press Fund for Diverse Voices.

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Praise for Handprints on Hubble

Handprints of Hubble named one of the best new biography books to read in 2020!

As featured on CNN, Forbes, and Inc – BookAuthority has ranked Handprints on Hubble at #5 of best new biographies. Learn more.

Bill Nye
Bill Nye

CEO, The Planetary Society

Dr. Sullivan starts out headed for the bottom of the sea. Soon, she flies us 200 miles above the sky, using her head, heart, and hands to solve problem after problem— and help us take in views that are out of this world. She does it all with her veneer of astronaut cool, of course. What an adventure—no wonder she loves it.

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Charles Bolden Jr

Astronaut; NASA Administrator

A wonderful tale of the most remarkable scientific instrument of our time, and the people who made it possible. This fascinating story of the Hubble Space Telescope’s visioning, development, and miraculous recovery, written by my longtime friend and two-time shuttle crewmate Dr. Kathy Sullivan, pays tribute to the unsung heroes of Hubble’s initial deployment and subsequent servicing.

Lynn Sheer
Lynn Sherr

Space correspondent, ABC News; author, Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space

So that’s how it all works! Kathy Sullivan’s insider knowledge and spacewalking savvy turn the nuts-and-bolts narrative of a giant piece of hardware into a daring space odyssey. From roaring rockets to tiny wrenches – as human ingenuity shaped NASA technology – it’s an intimate portrait of our magnificent Hubble eye-in-the-sky. I was, yes, riveted.

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Publishers Weekly
Starred Review

[A]n accessible and fascinating memoir of [Sullivan’s] experiences as a pioneering scientist, highlighted by her work on the Hubble space telescope… Sullivan’s fine volume shines a light on the nuts-and-bolts tasks that make extraordinary endeavors possible.”

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Kirkus Reviews

Throughout the narrative, [Sullivan’s] easy hand with details and infectious enthusiasm make for a winning combination. A smooth delivery of the nit and grit behind the success of the Hubble.”

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Homer Hickam
Author of Rocket Boys and October Sky

Astronaut Kathy Sullivan was there at the beginning of Hubble's design. As much as anyone, her handprints are on this magnificent space observatory. A page-turner, Sullivan's memoir is for more than space buffs. It's for anyone who loves a good read about an adventurous life written by the person who lived it.

UPCOMING EVENTS
IN THE NEWS

Land-Grant Brewing Company to honor Kathy Sullivan, as well as the 30th Anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope with its sixth annual Space-Grant Black IPA release, Stargazer. Learn More

Hubble's 30th Anniversary Events
Learn More
Book Talk, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Washington, D.C.
Recommended Reading and Videos

Copyright © 2019 · All Rights Reserved · Kathryn D. Sullivan