From the moons of Endor to the moons of Jupiter, astronaut enthusiasts will love these books about exploring space!
Scientists from Albert Einstein to Carl Sagan have emphasized the importance of imagination. For something to be achieved, it must first be imagined. It’s little wonder then that science fiction has time and time again become reality.
Jules Vern imagined landing on the moon as far back as 1865 with From the Earth to the Moon. In 1953, Ray Bradbury described listening devices that sounds suspiciously like Bluetooth headsets in Fahrenheit 451. In 1898, the internet was described in a short story called “From the ‘London Times’ of 1904” by none other than Mark Twain. These are but a few examples.
In this spirit, here are some books about exploring space that you can find on your library’s shelves that complement the Science Center’s exhibit Our Planet. They’ll have you imagining what could be next!
Books selected by the Acquisitions Services department of Orange County Library System.
Whether you're a Trekkie or a Wookie, these books about exploring space are phenomenal for all sci-fi fans!
by Andy Weir
Taking place in 2080, this novel is set in Artemis, the first and thus far only city on the Moon. The main character finds herself caught up in a conspiracy to control the city.
by Andy Weir
The story follows an American astronaut, Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on Mars in 2035 and must improvise in order to survive.
by Kim Stanley Robinson
Jumping forward in time quite a bit, this novel is set in 2545 and concerns an interstellar ark starship launched to being a human colony. The story is narrated by the ship’s artificial intelligence.
by T.C. Boyle
A similar ark theme but set in a biosphere in 1994 as climate change threatens Earth. Human nature is under the microscope as eight scientists live and work in a prototype of a possible off-earth colony.
by Ben Bova
Part of the author’s Grand Tour Series, each novel follows the colonization of the Solar System by humans in the late 21st century.
Check out the history, herstory, and future of space travel with this non-fiction selection!
Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto
by Alan Stern and David Grinspoon
The story of the men and women behind this amazing mission and their decades-long commitment and persistence. You’ll also get a look into the political fights within and outside of NASA.
by Mike Massimino
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to look back on Earth from outer space and see the surprisingly precise line between day and night? This author has been there and he puts you inside the astronaut suit with his book.
Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars
by Nathalia Holt
Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, this is the riveting true story of the women who launched America into space.
The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity
by Elizabeth Rusch
For younger readers, this books tells of two Mars rovers that were intended to do research for three months and wound up exploring the red planet for six years.
Packing for Mars
by Mary Roach
From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA's new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes you on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.
The Mars challenge: The Past, Present, and Future of Human Spaceflight
by Alison Wilgus
This nonfiction graphic novel in which a teen who dreams of being the first woman on Mars is taken on a conceptual journey of what that might be like.
Try a Stellar Activity!
Have you ever looked up at night and thought "what does the moon feel like?"
Using our DIY Moon Sand recipe, you too can experiment and make your own moon craters and touch the surface of the moon!