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Astrotwins -- Project Rescue

Part of Astrotwins

Twins Mark and Scott discover an abandoned Apollo command module and take off to rescue a stranded Russian cosmonaut in the second Astrotwins adventure from retired NASA astronaut and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Mousetronaut, Mark Kelly.

Mark and Scott Kelly, who are mostly known for getting in trouble, are finally back from their first space adventure. The twins have wanted to explore space ever since they were little and watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. And when they hear that a Russian cosmonaut is trapped inside the Salyut space station now orbiting 220 miles above the surface of the Earth, they wish they could find a way to help.

While staying in the countryside at their grandfather’s house with their friend Jenny (aka Egg), the twins repurpose a NASA Titan 2 rocket ship being stored nearby. Complete with spacesuits and snacks, the twins take off to rescue the Russian spacecraft. Will they ever see their family or their grandfather’s backyard again?

Written by a NASA astronaut with four space flights under his belt, the second exciting Astrotwins story includes extensive back matter on the space program with fantastic facts and details.

Mark Kelly is a retired astronaut and US Navy Captain. His picture book Mousetronaut, illustrated by C. F. Payne was a #1 New York Times bestseller. He flew his first of four missions in 2001 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, the same space shuttle that he commanded on its final flight in May 2011. In 2020 he will be running to represent Arizona in the United States Senate.

Following theirsuccessful rocket launch in Astrotwins—Project Blastoff (2015), Scott and MarkKelly are back for another unlikely outer-space adventure. It's spring of 1976,and the 12-year-old twins are feeling restless after the excitement of the previoussummer, so when a malfunction on the Soviet Salyut space station threatens thelife of a cosmonaut, they decide to get their Crazy 8 team back together for arescue. As in the previous book, author and former astronaut Kelly andco-author Freeman mix likable pre-adolescent high jinks, real science (andhere, Cold War history), and a whole lot of suspended disbelief into apage-turning collaborative adventure. It's a rockier start than in the earlierbook, as the kids need to conscript adults into their scheme; somehow, it's alot easier to believe that a bunch of preteens could assemble a rocket on theirown than to imagine that Sen. John Glenn would help that bunch of preteens doan end run around NASA to launch the Titan II rocket now conveniently storednear the Kelly twins' grandpa's house in New Jersey or that pal Barry Leibovitzcould make a solo trip to the USSR's Star City to translate. But once pastthese hurdles, readers will find themselves as invested in the kids' success asthe team itself is. As before, infodumps on rocketry and politics foldthemselves remarkably seamlessly into the narrative. From blastoff to landing,another nifty ride. (author's note, glossary, sources) (Historical fiction.8-12)

– Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2016

In 1976, a cosmonaut is stranded in a Russian space station, circling the globe with limited air and no way home. Twelve-year-old Mark and Scott Kelly, along with their friends from Astrotwins: Project Blastoff (2015), quickly prepare for another launch that will carry the twins into orbit for a rendezvous and rescue operation. Plausible? The author’s note by retired astronaut Kelly explains why not. But fun? Oh, yes. Combining the knuckleheaded banter of the twins (based on Kelly and his brother) with adventure, camaraderie, and a firsthand knowledge of NASA technology, this chapter book offers space fans quite a ride. — Carolyn Phelan

– Booklist online, February 16, 2016

More books from this author: Mark Kelly

More books in this series: Astrotwins