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Staff Picks - Space Exploration (Real and Imaginary)

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The Space Barons (338.762 DAVENPORT)
by Christian Davenport
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.

Rocket Billionaires (338.762 FERNHOLZ)
by Tim Fernholz
Follows the major players and corporations who are all competing in the new "space race" to colonize the Moon, send civilians into space, or send humans to Mars.

Hidden Figures (510.925 LEE SHETTERLY)
by Margot Lee Shetterley
An account of the previously unheralded but pivotal contributions of NASA's African-American women mathematicians to America's space program describes how they were segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws in spite of their groundbreaking successes.

Hubble: Window on the Universe (522.2919)
by Giles Sparrow
Covers the history of the Hubble Telescope and includes over 400 full-color images of the universe taken by the Hubble telescope.

The Book of the Moon (523.3)
by Rick Stroud
A profile of the moon covers the myriad debates about its origins, the mythology and astrology that have inspired civilizations and cultures throughout history, & the scientific achievements that enabled moon visits.

The Stars (523.8)
by Robert Dinwiddie
Packed with 3-D artworks of each constellation and incredible new imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope, ground-based observatories worldwide, and more, this guide features the most fascinating objects known to astronomy, from glittering star-birth nebulae to supermassive black holes.

Packing for Mars (571.0919)
by Mary Roach
Describes the weirdness of space travel, answers questions about the long-term effects of living in zero gravity on the human body, and explains how space simulations on Earth can provide a preview to life in space.

The Smithsonian Book of Air and Space Trivia (629.10973 P291)
by Amy Pastan
Incorporates illustrations of more than 125 objects from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's collections.

National Geographic Encyclopedia of Space (629.4)
Answers to questions about space & space travel are provided in a reference that encompasses explanations of all aspects of space, including planets, telescopes, the origins of the universe.

Beyond: Our Future in Space (629.40112 I345)
by Chris Impey
A report on humanity's imminent potential for living in space covers topics ranging from China's 2020 space station and the colonization of Mars to space-elevator innovations and the mapping of Earth-like exo-planets.

Rise of the Rocket Girls (629.407 HOLT)
by Nathalia Holt
Traces the pivotal achievements of the elite female science recruits at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where in the mid-twentieth century they transformed rocket design & enabled the creation of the first American satellites.

Amazing Stories of the Space Age (629.409 PYLE)
by Rod Pyle
Reveals the most unusual space missions ever devised inside and outside of NASA during a time when nothing was too odd to be taken seriously, and the race to the moon and the threat from the Soviet Union trumped all other considerations. 

Flight: My Life in Mission Control (629.4092 K89)
by Christopher C. Kraft
One of the architects of the U.S. space program recalls his most exciting moments at mission control as he guided heroes like Alan Shepard and John Glenn on their historic missions.

Space Chronicles (629.40973)
by Neil deGrasse Tyson
The astrophysicist director of the Hayden Planetarium in NY discusses the future of space travel and the importance of its exploration for the United States' economy, security and morale. 

Crowded Orbits (629.41 M729)
by James Clay Moltz
Space has become increasingly crowded since the end of the Cold War, with new countries, companies, and even private citizens operating satellites and becoming spacefarers.

Into the Black (629.441 WHITE)
by Rowland White
Recaptures the historic moments leading up to the launch of the space shuttle Columbia & the exciting story of her maiden flight, citing the pivotal contributions of the first astronauts to fly the shuttle, John Young and Bob Crippen.

Mission to Mars (629.44209 A365)
by Buzz Aldrin
The astronaut, engineer, and advocate for space colonization outlines a plan for taking humans to Mars within the next quarter century, posing business-specific arguments while outlining strategies for travel and planetary homesteading. 

Leaving Orbit (629.45 D282)
by Margaret Lazarus Dean
Explores the waning days of America's space program, detailing the last three missions of the shuttles Endeavor, Discovery, and Atlantis.

Endurance (629.45 KELLY)
by Scott Kelly
A memoir by the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station shares candid reminiscences of his voyage, his colorful formative years, & the off-planet journeys that shaped his early career. 

Chasing Space (629.45 MELVIN)
by Leland Melvin
An uplifting memoir by the former NASA astronaut and NFL wide receiver traces his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, examining the intersecting roles of community, perseverance and grace that create opportunities for success.

The Ordinary Spaceman (629.45009 A545)
by Clayton C. Anderson
What happens when the space station toilet breaks? How do astronauts “take out the trash” on a spacewalk, tightly encapsulated in a space suit with just a few layers of fabric and Kevlar between them and the unforgiving vacuum of outer space?

Neil Armstrong (629.45009 A737)
by Jay Barbree
A definitive portrait of the pioneering astronaut draws on personal notes and interviews with his family to discuss Armstrong's life in NASA, his emotions when he first set foot on the moon, and his thoughts on the future of space exploration.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth (629.45009 H129)
by Chris Hadfield
The author charts the course of his career as an astronaut, detailing how he overcame slim odds on account of his Canadian nationality to become one of NASA's most decorated astronauts while offering an intimate look at life in space.

The Astronaut Wives Club (629.45009 K836)
by Lily Coppel
Describes what lives were like for a group of military wives, including Annie Glenn, Rene Carpenter, Betty Grissom and Louise Shepherd, who were thrust into the spotlight when their husbands became Mercury Seven astronauts and made them stars.

Sally Ride (629.45009 R544)
by Lynn Sherr
A definitive portrait of the history-making first American woman astronaut includes coverage of her service aboard the panel that investigated the shuttle disasters, her co-founding of a science-education organization for girls and her guarded personal life.

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon (629.454 KLUGER)
by Jeffrey Kluger
Recounts the bold but dangerous mission to secure America's position as the first nation to reach the moon, revealing the dangers endured by its crew and the ways the mission brought renewal to a country ravaged by assassinations and war.

The Future of Humanity (629.455 KAKU)
by Michio Kaku
Traverses the frontiers of astrophysics, artificial intelligence, and technology to outline a remarkable vision of humanity's future in space, from colonizing Mars to traveling to distant galaxies.


by Poul Anderson
When SETI astronomers stumble upon evidence of a highly advanced star faring civilization, an expedition made up of a motley assortment of scientists is put together to investigate, but their journey could have unexpected ramifications.

by Ben Bova
When the 1st human mission to Mars is devastated by a meteoroid strike, the spacecraft's survivors struggle against impossible odds while decision-makers on Earth confront bureaucratic political forces.

by Jeremy K. Brown
Twelve billion metric tons of asteroid. One woman who can save Earth. Zero margin for error.

by Sue Burke
Human colonists are forced to survive on limited resources on an inhospitable planet, where trees offer deliciously addictive fruit one day and poison the next and the ruins of an alien race are discovered within plant roots.

by Meg Howrey
Auditioning for the first-ever mission to Mars, three astronauts share experiences that push the boundary between the real and surreal while irrevocably changing their relationships and familial bonds.

The Autobiography of James T. Kirk (SCIENCE FICTION KIRK)
by James T. Kirk
A chronicle of the most famous Starfleet captain in his own words traces his youth on Tarsus IV, education at the Academy, and illustrious career at the helm of the Enterprise, while sharing insights into his beliefs and famous missions.

by Alastair Reynolds
Helping to keep the peace throughout thousands of utopian city-states orbiting the planet Yellowstone, prefect Tom Dreyfus investigates the baffling sudden deaths of innumerable citizens at the same time an increasingly influential, charismatic figure begins sowing seeds of insurrection.

by Kim Stanley Robinson
Generations after leaving earth, a starship draws near to the planet that may serve as a new home world for those on board. But the journey has brought unexpected changes and their best laid plans may not be enough to survive.

by Sage Walker
Humanity's last hope of survival lies in space... but will a random death doom the venture? Our planet is dying and the world's remaining nations have pooled their resources to build a seed ship that will carry colonists on a multi-generational journey to a distant planet. Everything is set for a bright adventure... and then someone is found hanging dead just weeks before the launch.

by Andy Weir
Stranded on Mars by a dust storm that compromised his space suit and forced his crew to leave him behind, astronaut Mark Watney struggles to survive in spite of minimal supplies and harsh environmental challenges that test his ingenuity in unique ways.