Space Exploration Books
from a shipwreck in the Aegean, that tracked the movements of
stars and planets, technologically far ahead of its time. This book
addresses its discovery and study, and also the relation between
this ingenious mechanism and ancient ideas of astronomy.
The Memoir of Astronaut
Donn Eisele, edited by Francis French.
Univ. of Nebraska, Jan. 2017
Eisele (1930–1987) flew on Apollo 7,
the first manned Apollo mission. He
never flew in space again, as divorce
and what press materials call “a testy
commander” led to his crew being
labeled as troublemakers. His memoir,
which covers his time in the Air Force and in the Apollo program, was discovered after his death and is being published for
the first time.
Our Path to a New Home in
Charles Wohlforth and Amanda
Hendrix. Pantheon, Nov.
Science writer Wohlforth and planetary scientist Hendrix discuss what it
really takes to get to space, in terms of
our current capabilities and limitations, taking into consideration
technology, politics, human nature,
and more. They also make a case for the colonization of Saturn’s
moon Titan, viewing it as a more feasible prospect for a future
human settlement than Mars.
Exploration and Engineering:
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory
and the Quest for Mars
Erik Conway. Johns Hopkins Univ., Oct.
This inside look at Caltech’s Jet
Propulsion Laboratory details its history, structure, and process of innovation. Conway, JPL’s science and technology historian, introduces readers to
the lab’s groundbreaking rovers,
landers, and other creations, which have
spearheaded successful Mars missions.
4th Rock from the Sun: The Story of Mars
Nicky Jenner. Sigma, Apr. 2017
Jenner, a writer and editor for the European Space Agency,
European Southern Observatory, and
others, covers what we know (and
don’t know) about the Red Planet:
from ancient mythological ideas
about Mars as a harbinger of war to
modern evidence that the frozen, arid
planet may have once supported
microbial life—and could, one day,
host a human presence.
How to Make a Spaceship:
A Band of Renegades,
an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight
Julian Guthrie. Penguin Press, Oct.
In an effort to kick-start the private
space industry, entrepreneur Peter
Diamandis created the X Prize, a $10
million payout for the plucky team
who could launch a craft into space
twice in two weeks. Journalist
Guthrie writes of how Diamandis
and others secured funding, the
ingenuity of various teams who competed for the prize, and the eventual
victory of SpaceShipOne.
Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to
Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
Mike Massimino. Crown Archetype, Oct.
Massimino, who helped fix the Hubble Space Telescope in
2009, writes of his unlikely route to becoming an astronaut
and his days at NASA.
Life, the Universe,
Aliens: The World’s Leading
Scientists on the Search for
Edited by Jim Al-Khalili. Picador,
Theoretical physicist Al-Khalili
assembled this collection of essays to
provide a snapshot of how scientists
think about the potential for life
elsewhere in the universe. Looking at
such arenas as genetics, evolution,
space travel, AI, and philosophy, a variety of scientists
address many questions about the possibility of extraterrestrial life, how we might find it, and the nature of life