Explore Space

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.
Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Jim Al-Khalili
Adult Nonfiction – 576.839 Ali

A collection of thought-provoking and fascinating essays discussing the latest advances in the search for intelligent life in the universe. Includes contributions from cosmologists, astrophysicists, planetary scientists, and the director of the Center for SETI. —Baker & Taylor

Ask an Astronaut

Tim Peake
Adult Nonfiction – 629.45 Pea

Was it fun to do a space walk? How squashed were you in the capsule on the way back? What were your feelings as you looked down on Earth for the first time? Were you ever scared? Where to next—the Moon, Mars, or beyond?  These and many more questions are answered by astronaut Tim Peake; his responses are accompanied by photographs and diagrams of the science behind space travel.

Astronaut: 1961 Onwards (All Roles and Nationalities)

Ken MacTaggart
Adult Nonfiction – 629.4507 Mac
Series: Owners' Workshop Manual

Written in a style accessible to the layperson, with technical details satisfying to more knowledgeable readers. Captures the excitement and wonder of spaceflight through extensive astronaut biographies and interviews. Look for other Owners' Workshop Manual books at the Library on the Space Shuttle, Mars Rover, and more.

Chandra's Cosmos: Dark Matter, Black Holes, and Other Wonders Revealed by NASA's Premier X-ray Observatory

Wallace H. Tucker
Adult Nonfiction – 523.1 Tuc

The richly-illustrated story of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, launched in 1999 from Space Shuttle Columbia. Photos and descriptions dive into "exploded stars, galaxy clusters, and matter around black holes." 

Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances

Leland Melvin
Adult Nonfiction – 921 Melvin

An inspirational memoir about the perseverance of astronaut and former NFL wide receiver Leland Melvin, whose personal journey involves hearing loss and the possibility of never flying in space.

Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery

Scott Kelly
Adult Nonfiction – 921 Kelly

Scott Kelly details the year he spent living and working on the International Space Station, along with experiences of his childhood and early career.

Hello, is This Planet Earth?: My View From the International Space Station

Tim Peake
Adult Nonfiction – 778.35 Pea

A stunning collection of photographs of Earth taken by astronaut Tim Peake on his International Space Station mission. Includes photos of cities at night, northern lights, and other perspectives of our home planet.

Mars: The Pristine Beauty of the Red Planet

Alfred S. McEwen
Adult Nonfiction – 559.923 Mce

This large and beautiful book captures Mars using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It includes 179 high-resolution photographs, along with descriptions in some 24 different languages. Wonderful way to explore this alien world.

Moon: From 4.5 Billion Years Ago to the Present

David M. Harland
Adult Nonfiction – 523.3 Har
Series: Owners' Workshop Manual

Simple and straightforward terms and illustrations describing the details of the moon and the vehicles that allow us to explore its surface. Look for more Owners' Workshop Manual books at the Library on space.

Otherworlds: Visions of Our Solar System

Michael Benson
Adult Nonfiction – 523.2 Ben

Using high resolution photography from robotic missions, Michael Benson moves from planet to planet in a photographic exploration of our solar system.

Planet Hunters: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Lucas Ellerbroek
Adult Nonfiction – 576.839 Ell

Astronomer Lucas Ellerbroek covers the history of our search for exoplanets and life elsewhere in the universe. He goes on to present the latest research in the field in an engaging and accessible manner.

The Planets: Photographs From the Archives of NASA

Nirmala Nataraj
Adult Nonfiction – 523.4 Nat

More than 200 photographs with detailed captions are included in this beautiful work on the objects in our solar system. The book starts with the sun moving on to each planet and the bodies beyond.

Project Apollo : The Moon Landings, 1968–1972

Eugen Reichl
Adult Nonfiction – 629.454 Rei

The entire history of the Apollo space program, from the early days of the unmanned Saturn V to the last moon flight in 1972.  Included are radio transcripts, diagrams, photographs and exciting accounts of events.

The Sky Below

Scott Parazynski
Adult Nonfiction – 921 Parazynski

Scott Parazynski had a seventeen-year career as a NASA astronaut, serving with John Glenn and walking in space. This book talks about his time with NASA as well as his many adventures in life here on Earth. 

View From Above: An Astronaut Photographs the World

Terry Virts
Adult Nonfiction – 779.991 Vir

Astronaut Terry Virts documents over seven months in space with photographs and stories. Includes candid photographs of other astronauts and stories from his various space missions.