Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The best books about our space future

Christopher Wanjek is the author of Bad Medicine and Food at Work. He has written more than 500 articles for the Washington Post, Sky & Telescope, Astronomy, Mercury, and Live Science. From 1998 to 2006, he was a senior writer at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, covering the structure and evolution of the universe.

Wanjek's new book is Spacefarers: How Humans Will Settle the Moon, Mars, and Beyond.

At the Guardian he tagged the best books about our future in space, including:
Women may require fewer calories, reducing kilograms and cost for any mission launching from Earth, but governments have proved unwilling to let them take the lead. Martha Ackmann’s The Mercury 13 tells the story of the women Nasa trained as part of the Mercury programme in the 1960s, and how the US president Lyndon Johnson denied them the opportunity to fly. It wasn’t until 1983 that Sally Ride became the first US female astronaut in space, and the sexist culture at Nasa is the backdrop for To Space and Back, a book for younger readers that is as informative as it is aspirational. She explains what it’s like to eat, sleep, bathe or use the toilet in zero gravity – subjects that Mary Roach expands on in her lighthearted study of living in space, Packing for Mars. Sex, in particular, is fraught with difficulties in zero gravity, where Newton’s third law can make action and reaction a messy affair.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue