Astrophysicist and space pioneer James Van Allen, for whom the Van Allen radiation belts were named, was among the principal scientific investigators for twenty-four space missions. This book blends space science drama, military agendas, cold war politics, and the events of Van Allen's career to create a biography of this influential physicist.
Abigail Foerstner teaches science writing and news writing in the graduate program at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is the author of Picturing Utopia: Bertha Shambaugh and the Amana Photographers (IOWA 2000) and of hundreds of articles on science, history, and the visual arts. As a staff reporter for the suburban sections of the Chicago Tribune, she covered science and the environment for nearly ten years. She spent seven years researching and writing James Van Allen: The First Eight Billion Miles.