Not many authors can say that their books have traveled to space.
Two Ohioans whose children’s books are bound for the International Space Station as part of an educational reading program will soon join that exclusive club.
The works by Jessica Fries-Gaither of Hilliard and Emily Morgan of West Chester, north of Cincinnati, will be aboard SpaceX Falcon 9, a rocket that is scheduled to launch Sunday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Once the books arrive at the space station — probably within a day of the launch — astronauts will record themselves reading the works aloud as part of the Story Time From Space program, which is designed to excite children about science.
“It’s such a unique opportunity to help put kids onto reading and learning science concepts,” said Fries-Gaither, 39, who teaches science to elementary students at the Columbus School for Girls.
“Kids are fascinated by space — I mean, I think we all are.”
“Notable Notebooks: Scientists and their Writings” by Fries-Gaither and “Next Time You See a Sunset” by Morgan — both published by the National Science Teachers Association — were two of four that the publisher sent last fall to be considered for Story Time From Space, said Claire Reinburg, director of NSTA Press, which publishes about 30 books each year for both teachers and children.
“I love these books,” Reinburg said. “They’ve really been able to translate some pretty complex ideas about science into language and an engaging storyline that children can learn from.”
The two books are among nine science-themed children’s works from a variety of publishers that will be included in the latest planned cargo-resupply mission. The payload will bring the total to 20 books that the reading program has sent into orbit since Patricia Tribe founded it five years ago.
Tribe was the director of education at Space Center Houston for 13 years before she…