Future Tense Happy Hour: Join Us to Discuss a Great NASA Mystery

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
July 9 2013 10:56 AM

Future Tense Happy Hour: Join Us to Discuss a Great NASA Mystery

Pioneer Detectives

Update, July 15: Sorry, this event is now full. We are no longer accepting RSVPs. But you can join us on July 24 for a free screening of Avatar in Washington, D.C., with World Wildlife Fund President and CEO Carter Roberts. More information here.

It was one of the most important scientific mysteries of our time: In the 1990s, NASA scientists detected an unknown force acting on the spacecraft Pioneer 10, the first man-made object to go through the asteroid belt, to visit Jupiter, and eventually, to leave the solar system. No one seemed able to agree on a cause. (Dark matter? Tensor-vector-scalar gravity? Forehead collisions with gravitons?) What did seem clear, to those who became obsessed with it, was that the “Pioneer Anomaly” had the potential to upend Einstein and Newton, and to change everything we know about the universe.

In The Pioneer Detectives, New America Schwartz Fellow Konstantin Kakaes gives us a scientific police procedural, tracking the steps of those who sought to unravel this high-stakes enigma. His thrilling account draws on extensive interviews and archival research, following the story from the Anomaly's initial discovery, through decades of tireless investigation, to its ultimate conclusion. The Pioneer Detectives is a definitive account, not just of the Pioneer Anomaly, but of how scientific knowledge gets made and unmade, with scientists sometimes putting their livelihoods on the line in pursuit of cosmic truth.

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Join Future Tense in Washington, D.C., at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, for a happy hour event at the Irish Whiskey Public House. We’ll celebrate the launch of The Pioneer Detectives, published by The Millions and available as a Kindle Single on Amazon beginning July 15. While you enjoy drinks and snacks, Kakaes and NPR Science Correspondent Geoff Brumfiel will discuss the curious case of Pioneer 10 and its sibling Pioneer 11, and what it means for our understanding of physics.

Update, July 15: Sorry, this event is now full. We are no longer accepting RSVPs. But you can join us on July 24 for a free screening of Avatar in Washington, D.C., with World Wildlife Fund President and CEO Carter Roberts. More information here.

Future Tense regularly hosts happy hours and other evening events—like our “My Favorite Movie” series, in which leaders in technology and science host a screening of their favorite film with tech and science themes. So keep an eye on the Future Tense blog and Twitter feed to learn about our all our upcoming events.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

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