University of Rochester

Professor Adam Frank: The Inspiration Gap And The Shuttle's Last Launch

July 8, 2011

Adam Frank

Professor Adam Frank.

space shuttle

Space shuttle Atlantis.

Adam Frank is a professor of astrophysics whose current research topics include jets from young stellar objects, bipolar outflows from evolved stars such as planetary nebulae, and massive stars. He has been a regular contributor to Discover Magazine, Astronomy Magazine, and NPR.

Back in 1972 the library in my hometown wasn't very big. But its size didn't matter much to my 10-year-old sensibilities. That was the year I discovered their collection on the U.S. space program. Those few books where big enough to help change my life.

I spent the whole summer poring over images taken by NASA astronauts and space probes. I decided one day, no matter what, I was going to be a scientist too.

That experience turns out to be almost universal for the last three generations of U.S. scientists.

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