Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Space 2020: In the Library

Print Books

Smithsonian Atlas of Space Exploration

The Atlas of Space Exploration depicts the ever-fascinating history of the space age and humanity's progress in exploring new frontiers. Incredible images from NASA and other sources, visual conceptions of Moon bases, and newly commissioned maps reveal a visual history spanning the earliest eras of the universe, the dawn of the space age, the launch of Sputnik, missions to the Moon, robot landings on the terrestrial planets, and the exploration of the outer solar system. These developments in technology are illuminated by a rich historical context, highlighting how space exploration has changed and expanded our vision of the universe.

The History of Human Space Flight

Highlighting men and women across the globe who have dedicated themselves to pushing the limits of space exploration, this book surveys the programs, technological advancements, medical equipment, and automated systems that have made space travel possible.

We Could Not Fail

We Could Not Fail tells the inspiring, largely unknown story of how shooting for the stars helped to overcome segregation on earth. They recount how these technicians, mathematicians, engineers, and an astronaut candidate surmounted barriers to move, in some cases literally, from the cotton fields to the launching pad. The authors vividly describe what it was like to be the sole African American in a NASA work group and how these brave and determined men also helped to transform Southern society by integrating colleges, patenting new inventions, holding elective office, and reviving and governing defunct towns. Adding new names to the roster of civil rights heroes and a new chapter to the story of space exploration, We Could Not Fail demonstrates how African Americans broke the color barrier by competing successfully at the highest level of American intellectual and technological achievement.

No Requiem for the Space Age

Shifting the conversation of Apollo from its Cold War origins to larger trends in American culture and society, and probing an eclectic mix of voices from the era, including intellectuals, religious leaders, rock musicians, politicians, and a variety of everyday Americans, Matthew Tribbe paints an electrifying portrait of a nation in the midst of questioning the very values that had guided it through the postwar years as it began to develop new conceptions of progress.

Space Chronicles

This book represents the best of Tyson's commentary, including a candid new introductory essay on NASA and partisan politics, giving us an eye-opening manifesto on the importance of space exploration for America's economy, security, and morale.

America in Space

In fall 2007, NASA begins to celebrate its 50th Anniversary and Abrams is privileged to publish the official visual history of its many achievements in manned and unmanned space travel. Written and edited by a team of experienced NASA staffers and illustrated with many unpublished and rare images from the voluminous NASA archives scattered across the country, America in Space offers an unparalleled view of the human need to explore unknown places.

NASA Space Shuttle Manual

Designed between 1969 and 1972 and first flown into space in 1981, the NASA Shuttle will have flown almost 140 missions by the time it is retired in 2011. David Baker describes the origin of the reusable launch vehicle concept during the 1960s, its evolution into a viable flying machine in the early 1970s, and its subsequent design, engineering, construction, and operation. The Shuttle's internal layout and systems are explained, including the operation of life support, electrical-power production, cooling, propulsion, flight control, communications, landing, and avionics systems.

Astronauts

Did you know that astronauts work on Earth and in space to study places beyond our planet's atmosphere? But there's a lot more to space travel than just research. With no gravity, a wild schedule that includes sixteen sunrises and sixteen sunsets every twenty-four hours, and no fresh food, it can be a challenge to stay healthy in orbit. Public and private space agencies are working to solve these problems as humans travel farther and more frequently into the depths of space. Learn more about the daily lives of astronauts and how they live, work, and prepare for the future in space.

Space Visual Encyclopedia

From the Big Bang to space exploration and stargazing, young readers will see everything there is to know about space as they blast off on this extraordinary journey with Space Visual Encyclopedia. Kids will discover how galaxies are born, find out the essential facts about our solar system's planets, see how humans first blasted off into the vastness of space, learn about the iconic individuals who played a part in these scientific discoveries over the centuries, and explore the constellations that light up our night sky. Highly visual spreads with cutting-edge CGI photography showcase amazing things that are sure to astonish young readers, including Jupiter's Great Red Spot, supernovae, astronaut spacesuits, and so much more. Joining DK's award-winning Visual Encyclopedia format, Space Visual Encyclopedia is the ultimate visual guide to our amazing universe.

Hidden Women

Tells the story of four female African-American mathematicians who literally made it possible to launch US rockets and astronauts into space. Hidden Women tells the thrilling tale of how women contributed, the struggles and resistance each experienced, and the amazing result.

Space Shuttle

An unprecedented look at the Space Shuttle experience, as told by the astronauts themselves. The editors of Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine wrote all of the people who have flown on the Space Shuttle since 1981 with a simple request: Tell us your best stories. The astronauts' fascinating and candid responses reveal the drama of the Shuttle experience, from launch to landing, like no other book has to date. More than 300 stunning pictures selected from deep in the NASA archives, most have never been published. Personal anecdotes drawn from written submissions or original interviews with 77 Shuttle astronauts. Historical section highlights in words and pictures the greatest accomplishments of the Shuttle's first two decades. Complete with brief descriptions of all 103 flights from April 1981 to April 2001, Space Shuttle includes a foreword written by astronaut Jim Lovell, who was portrayed by Tom Hanks in the film Apollo 13.

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center will continue to make history as NASA embarks on new adventures in space exploration. The book includes detailed information on: The earliest development of rockets in the United States and Germany The development of rockets and their launch facilities The missile race and U.S.-Soviet rivalry to be first in space The great Apollo program and the race to the moon The shuttle program, the Space Station and the Hubble Telescope The future of space exploration. Clearly written, meticulously researched and packed with more than 150 spectacular images, Kennedy Space Center is the only complete history of this important site.

A History of the Kennedy Space Center

This first comprehensive history of the Kennedy Space Center, NASA's famous launch facility located at Cape Canaveral, Florida, reveals the vital but largely unknown work that takes place before the rocket is lit. Though the famous Vehicle Assembly Building and launch pads dominate the flat Florida landscape at Cape Canaveral and attract 1.5 million people each year to its visitor complex, few members of the public are privy to what goes on there beyond the final outcome of the flaring rocket as it lifts into space. With unprecedented access to a wide variety of sources, including the KSC archives, other NASA centers, the National Archives, and individual and group interviews and collections, Lipartito and Butler explore how the methods and technology for preparing, testing, and launching spacecraft have evolved over the last 45 years. 

View from Above

This majestic National Geographic photography book offers a spectacular view of Earth from outer space, featuring aerial imagery taken from the International Space Station by NASA astronaut Terry Virts. Few people get the experience of seeing the world from outer space-and no one has taken as many pictures of Earth from above as Terry Virts. Celebrated NASA astronaut, pilot of the space shuttle, crew member on Soyuz, and commander of the International Space Station, Virts has spent more than 200 days in space-and very few of those days went by without his reaching for his camera. Now as never before, Virts shares the astronaut's view of the world, offering astounding aerial views of our planet and the vastness that surrounds it. 

Falling to Earth

As command module pilot for the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971, Al Worden flew on what is widely regarded as the greatest exploration mission that humans have ever attempted. He spent six days orbiting the moon, including three days completely alone, the most isolated human in existence. Worden has never before told the full story around the dramatic events that shook NASA and ended his spaceflight career. Readers will learn them here for the first time, along with the exhilarating account of what it is like to journey to the moon and back. It's an unprecedentedly candid account of what it was like to be an Apollo astronaut, with all its glory but also its pitfalls.

Earthrise

In Earthrise , Edgar recalls his spectacular trip to the Moon and the life experiences that got him there, including his early days spent in Roswell, New Mexico, amid nuclear testing and the rumored UFO crash; his first solo airplane flight as a young teen; his time as a navy combat pilot; and becoming a NASA astronaut. With fascinating detail, Edgar describes what it was like to launch into space and land on the Moon, illuminating everything from the practical--eating, sleeping, and going to the bathroom in space--to the mystical, life-changing experience of gazing at Earth from afar. With illuminating sidebars, transcripts of NASA recordings from the historic Apollo 14 mission, and extensive resources including lists of space-related websites, museums, organizations, films, and books, Earthrise is an invaluable addition to any space, astronomy, or science buff's bookshelf.

Ask an Astronaut

From training for the mission to launch, to his historic spacewalk, to re-entry, he reveals for readers of all ages the cutting-edge science behind his groundbreaking experiments, and the wonders of daily life on board the International Space Station. The public was invited to submit questions using the hashtag #askanastronaut, and a selection are answered by Tim in the book, accompanied with illustrations, diagrams, and never-before-seen photos.

Mission Control

This book is a long-overdue history of three major centers that have managed important missions since the dawn of the space age. In Mission Control, Michael Johnson explores the famous Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, and the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany--each a strategically designed micro-environment responsible for the operation of spacecraft and the safety of passengers.

Safely to Earth

Through personal stories, Clemons introduces readers to many of the unsung heroes of the Apollo and Space Shuttle missions?the people who worked side by side with NASA engineers supporting reentry and landing for each Apollo mission and the software team who fashioned the computer programs that accompanied the crews on the Space Shuttle. Clemons worked closely with astronauts who relied on him and his fellow engineers for directions to their destination, guidance on how to get there, control of their fate during their journeys, and a safe return. He reveals problems, challenges, and near-disasters previously unknown to the public and offers candid opinions on the preventable failures that led to the loss of fourteen astronauts in the Challenger and Columbia tragedies.Highlighting the staggering responsibility and the incredible technological challenges that Clemons and his colleagues took on in the race to reach the moon and explore the mysteries of space, this book is a fascinating insider/s view of some of the greatest adventures of the twentieth century.

Hidden Figures

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA's greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country's future.

Mankind Beyond Earth

Seeking to reenergize Americans' passion for the space program, the value of further exploration of the Moon, and the importance of human beings on the final frontier, Claude A. Piantadosi presents a rich history of American space exploration and its major achievements. He emphasizes the importance of reclaiming national command of our manned program and continuing our unmanned space missions, and he stresses the many adventures that still await us in the unfolding universe. Acknowledging space exploration's practical and financial obstacles, Piantadosi challenges us to revitalize American leadership in space exploration in order to reap its scientific bounty. Piantadosi explains why space exploration, a captivating story of ambition, invention, and discovery, is also increasingly difficult and why space experts always seem to disagree.

Shoot for the Moon

Learn why NASA astronaut Mike Collins calls this extraordinary space race story "the best book on Apollo": this inspiring and intimate ode to ingenuity celebrates one of the most daring feats in human history. When the alarm went off forty thousand feet above the moon's surface, both astronauts looked down at the computer to see 1202 flashing on the readout. Neither of them knew what it meant, and time was running out . . .