Check It Out: Space Books and Podcasts
What do the most influential and successful astronauts, space scientists, and space engineers have in common? A lifelong awe for what lies beyond our atmosphere. You can share in their enthusiasm by checking out these books and podcasts. They’re sure to get you imagining a career that could take you out of this world!
Chasing Space (Young Reader’s Edition), by Leland Melvin This memoir by a former astronaut (and NFL wide receiver) recounts the challenges and victories Melvin experienced and the creative strategies he employed on his journey to the stars. Just take a look at the cover and you’ll see why Melvin’s story is one of heart and perseverance. Recommended for ages 8 to 12.
Galaxy Girls: 50 Amazing Stories of Women in Space, by Libby Jackson This collection of mini biographies shines a light on women at the forefront and behind the scenes of space programs. The stories, with beautiful illustrations, span female spaceworkers from astronauts and researchers to seamstresses and the designers who developed spacesuits for NASA. Recommended for ages 13 to 17.
Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson, by Katherine Johnson This inspirational memoir followed Hidden Figures (see above). It dives deeper into Johnson’s personal story. Battling severe racism and sexism, she perseveres to work on groundbreaking projects, including the Apollo 11 mission. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
To the Moon! The True Story of the American Heroes on the Apollo 8 Spaceship, by Jeffrey Kluger This dynamic tale is about the 1968 space race between the United States and Russia to get astronauts on the moon. It documents the exhilarating process of getting NASA’s rockets ready to launch, then gives readers an inside view of life on a spaceship during the journey to the moon. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
Reach: A Space Podcast for Kids This entertaining, educational, and family-friendly podcast series explores the galaxy and beyond. It includes interviews with leaders in the fields of space science and exploration, fun activities you can do at home, and answers to all of your space-science queries. Check out some favorite episodes like “What is Planet 9?” and “How Can I Become an Astronomer?”
NASA Podcasts This huge collection of podcasts offered by NASA includes NASA’s Curious Universe,The Invisible Network, and Gravity Assist. Each podcast focuses on a different aspect of space exploration, featuring everything from interviews with scientists and astronauts to in-depth exploration of technologies for space discovery. Check out this awesome collection, and don’t miss a favorite episode “The Search for Life: Are We Alone?”
AirSpace Technical and concise, this series is backed by the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, in Washington, D.C. It explores missions, discoveries, and innovations by spacecraft and aircraft. A recent episode, “Sisters of the Moon,” discusses the upcoming Artemis missions to return humans to the moon after an almost 50-year gap.