If you’re a frustrated armchair astronaut like me, the next best thing (after writing sci-fi of course :-)) is reading about space. So here are my favorite space books of the year, written by former astronauts, mission controllers, science journalists, and space enthusiasts.
How to Die in Space: a Journey Through Dangerous Astrophysical Phenomena by Paul Sutter
It’s astrophysics–with humor! Sutter helps us navigate the space minefield in an accessible guide to all the wonders of the Universe. A great pick for fans of Neil deGrasse Tyson.
The Big Book of Mars by Marc Hartzman
A pop history look at our long obsession with the red planet, from 19th century scientific theories through to The Martian and SpaceX’s quixotic plans. A fun read to dip in and out of and a nice gift idea for space fans.
Shuttle, Houston: Life in the Center Seat of Mission Control by Paul Dye
Written by NASA’s longest-serving flight director, this is the ultimate inside look at the shuttle missions and a must-read for space enthusiasts.
How to Astronaut: Everything You Need to Know Before Leaving Earth by Terry Virts
Planning a trip into space anytime soon? Here’s your training manual! All your space FAQ answered in this chatty, fun memoir from a former NASA astronaut.
Space 2069: After Apollo: Back to the Moon, to Mars… and Beyond by David Whitehouse
Incredibly, it’s almost fifty years since man last stepped on the Moon. While many countries are planning to return, it’s still a sad situation. Science journalist David Whitehouse (who also wrote Apollo 11: The Inside Story) speculates on the next fifty years in space–what will happen on the Moon and possibly even Mars?
Canadarm and Collaboration: How Canada’s Astronauts and Space Robots Explore New Worlds by Elizabeth Howell
The Canadarm and much more! Science and space writer Howell takes an in-depth look at Canada’s contributions to space technology since the 1960s. I first heard about this one via an interview with the author on CBC’s Quirks and Quarks.
Have you read any of these? Are there other titles you’d like to recommend? Let me know in the comments! I’ll be back soon with more new sci-fi and science picks. Happy New Year!