Explore Space

The wonders of space have always fascinated humans—and our curiosity about what's out there has driven scientists, astronauts, photographers and others to record what they've found in words and pictures. Here are some of the most recent records of those findings, and the people and science that made them possible.

Compiled by:
Paula G. O.
American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

Douglas Brinkley
Adult Nonfiction - 629.454 Bri

A vivid and enthralling chronicle of one of the most thrilling, hopeful, and turbulent eras in the nation’s history, American Moonshot is an homage to scientific ingenuity, human curiosity, and the boundless American spirit.

Apollo's Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings

Roger D Launius
Adult Nonfiction - 629.454 Lau

A space historian explores the many-faceted stories told about the meaning of the Apollo program and how it forever altered American society, and weaves in stories from important moments in Apollo’s history to draw readers into his analysis.

The Cosmic Mystery Tour: A High-speed Journey Through Space & Time

Nicholas Mee
Adult Nonfiction - 523.1 Mee

This is a lively, inspiring beginner's guide to how the universe works. This book contains bite-sized chapters present the discoveries of modern physics, astronomy, and cosmology.


Ann Druyan
Adult Nonfiction - 520 Dru

A companion to the television series of the same name. Presents a tour through the unexplored realms of Earth and space, profiling the scientific visionaries of the past and present whose achievements are shaping the future. - (Baker & Taylor)

Dispatches From Planet 3: Thirty-two (Brief) Tales on the Solar System, the Milky Way, and Beyond

Marcia Bartusiak
Adult Nonfiction - 520.9 Bar

The galaxy, the multiverse, and the history of astronomy are explored in this engaging compilation of cosmological tales by multiple-award-winning science writer Marcia Bartusiak. In thirty-two concise and engrossing essays, the author provides a deeper understanding of the nature of the universe and those who strive to uncover its mysteries.

Earth-shattering: Violent Supernovas, Galactic Explosions, Biological Mayhem, Nuclear Meltdowns, and Other Hazards to Life in Our Universe

Bob Berman
Adult Nonfiction - 523.18 Ber

Examines cosmic collisions, exploding black holes, earthquakes, and tsunamis, discussing the science behind them and exploring the potential they have to destroy life.

Gravity's Century: From Einstein's Eclipse to Images of Black Holes

Ron Cowen
Adult Nonfiction - 530.11 Cow

Ron Cowen offers a sweeping account of the century of experimentation that has consistently confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity. He shows how we got from Eddington’s pivotal observations of the 1919 eclipse to the Event Horizon Telescope, aimed at starlight wrapping around the black hole at our galaxy’s center.

Moon Rush: The New Space Race

Leonard David
Adult Nonfiction - 629.4011 Leo

In these rich pages, veteran science journalist Leonard David explores the moon in all its facets, from ancient myth to future "Moon Village" plans. Illustrating his text with maps, graphics, and photographs, David offers inside information about how the United States, allies and competitors, as well as key private corporations like Moon Express and Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin, plan to reach, inhabit, and even harvest the moon in the decades to come.

Our Universe: An Astronomer's Guide

Jo Dunkley
Adult Nonfiction – 523.1 Dun

Jo Dunkley combines her expertise as an astrophysicist with her talents as a teacher and writer in this lively and exceptionally clear introduction to the structure and history of the universe and its enduring mysteries.

Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and Human Space Travel (for the Cosmically Curious)

Michael Wall
Adult Nonfiction - 576.839 Wal

A layman's guide to the cosmos is arranged in a question-and-answer format to discuss astronomy, physics, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, the practical realities of life for humans in outer space, and insights into space exploration.

Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11

Jim Donovan
Adult Nonfiction - 629.454 Don

Set amid the tensions of the Cold War and the upheavals of the sixties, and filled with first-person, behind-the-scenes details, Shoot for the Moon is a gripping account of the dangers, the challenges, and the sheer determination that defined not only Apollo 11, but also the Mercury and Gemini missions that came before it.

The Soviet Space Program: The Lunar Mission Years, 1959-1976

Eugen Reichl
Adult Nonfiction - 629.45 Rei

This book chronologically examines the fifty-nine missions the USSR sent or intended to send to the moon from 1959 to 1976. Eventually, the Soviets finally abandoned the idea of a manned moon landing and for the following decade and a half claimed that they never conducted such a program.

The Space Barons: Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos

Christian Davenport
Adult Nonfiction - 920 Dav

Traces the historic quest to rekindle the human exploration of space as navigated by billionaire entrepreneurs, sharing insights into how professional rivalry and Silicon Valley innovations are lowering the cost of space travel and exceeding the achievements of NASA.

Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space

Gary Kitmacher
Adult Nonfiction - 629.442 Kit

A rich visual history of real and fictional space stations, illustrating pop culture's influence on the development of actual space stations and vice versa.

Space Utopia: A Journey Through the History of Space Exploration from the Apollo and Sputnik Programmes to the Next Mission to Mars

Vincent Fournier
Adult Nonfiction - 770 Fou

Vincent Fournier's visionary photographs provide an imaginative look at space exploration by merging fantasy with reality in images of rockets, otherwordly landscapes, research facilities, and cosmonauts. To produce these extraordinary images, Fournier has collaborated with the world's major space centers and astronomical observatories, including NASA, the European Space Agency, the Russian space agency, and the European Southern Observatory.

Spaceflight: The Complete Story, from Sputnik to Curiosity

Giles Sparrow
Adult Nonfiction - 629.41 Spa

This book is a celebration of human ingenuity and imagination. From the work of pioneers like Wernher von Braun, Yuri Gagarin, and Neil Armstrong to the triumphs and tragedies that followed, it reveals the people, science, and technology that have propelled us into the Space Age.

Universal Life: An Inside Look Behind the Race to Discover Life Beyond Earth

Alan Boss
Adult Nonfiction - 523.24 Bos

The Kepler space telescope spent four years looking for Earth-like planets in our galaxy. A revolution in thinking about our place in the universe resulted. Are Earths commonplace, or rare? Are we likely to be alone in the universe? Only Kepler could answer these questions. Author Alan Boss, the Chair of NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group, presents what the Kepler mission found.

Universe: From 13.8 Billion Years Ago to the Infinite Future

David M. Harland
Adult Nonfiction – 523.1 Har
Series: Owners' Workshop Manual

Written for those with good scientific knowledge and lay people alike, this book is a fascinating exploration of the complexities and astonishing depths of our universe, as well as a glimpse of how much we still have to learn about why and how it exists. Look for other Owners' Workshop Manual books at the Library on the Space Shuttle, Mars Rover, astronauts and more.

Wally Funk's Race for Space: The Extraordinary Story of a Female Aviation Pioneer

Sue Nelson
Adult Nonfiction - 921 Funk Nel

Mary Wallace "Wally" Funk began her flying career in the 1950s, eventually becoming a flight instructor and National Transportation Safety Board air-crash investigator. Her greatest achievement is often overlooked: Funk was one of the Mercury 13, the women who put the first cracks in NASA's glass ceiling with their participation in the 1961 Women in Space program. Funk comes across as a determined and intrepid octogenarian—she has bought a ticket on Virgin Galactic and still hopes to reach space.