Tony Jenzano, Astronaut Trainer

The Man Who Made the Stars Shine

By Michael G. Neece

Tony Jenzano, Astronaut Trainer

32 pp., 8.5 x 11, 15 color images

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5992-3
    Published: September 2020

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Distributed for the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

When America's first astronauts launched into outer space, Tony Jenzano helped them learn to navigate by the stars. As the leader of a big planetarium in a small town, Tony was the man who made the stars shine. Without Tony, NASA's first space travelers would have been lost in space.

About the Authors

Michael G. Neece writes public history, children’s books, and YA novels in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he lives with his wife and three children. He presents constellation shows at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center under the same dome where NASA astronauts once trained. He is confident that children will guide us to the stars as long as we feed their curiosity and teach them kindness.
For more information about Michael G. Neece, visit the Author Page.

Benlin Alexander is a professional illustrator located in Raleigh, North Carolina and working with clients across the country and throughout the world. He is a member of SCBWI and has completed twelve book projects since he started his career in 2012.
For more information about Benlin Alexander, visit the Author Page.


"This beautifully illustrated book by Michael G. Neece brilliantly captures a chapter in the history of the Morehead Planetarium. But it does so much more--it’s a story of commitment, courage, learning and the imagination. The bonds formed between museum director Tony Jenzano, Morehead Planetarium, and an amazing roster of famous astronauts were profound and lasting, and played a major role in sending the first Americans into space."--Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Tree House Series

"Michael Neece's exploration of Tony Jenzano's life and work illuminates the role that a local institution can play in the world, as well as bringing well-deserved attention to a unsung figure in space exploration."--Palmer Smith, librarian at McDougle Elementary School (Chapel Hill, NC)