Read, Watch, Listen: Space Edition

Forty-eight years ago this month, mankind landed on the moon – an achievement that over 600 million people watched live. Of course, the space age didn’t begin or end with the journey of Apollo 11 – and many would argue that humans have always and will always search beyond the Earth for answers. There’s just something about the Final Frontier that holds an attraction for humans – read, watch, or listen to one of the following to “explore” this theme a little more.

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READ

The Right Stuff – Tom Wolfe

  • The moments of grandeur and weakness, the aspirations, and the problems of America’s astronauts are revealed in an exploration of the dimensions of their inner lives in space, on the moon, and on the earth.

Dark Side of the Moon: The Magnificent Madness of the American Lunar Quest – Gerard J. DeGroot

  • Discusses the myths constructed by the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations that were used to exploit American fears of what Russians would do in space.

Amazing Stories of the Space Age: True Tales of Nazis in Orbit, Soldiers on the Moon, Orphaned Martian Robots, and Other Fascinating Accounts from the Annals of Spaceflight – Rod Pyle

  • Accompanied by rarely seen photos and illustrations, an insider’s perspective reveals the most unusual and bizarre space missions ever devised inside and outside of NASA during a time when nothing was too off-the-wall to be taken seriously, and the race to the moon and the threat from the Soviet Union trumped all other considerations.

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WATCH

Hidden Figures

  • The story of a group of African-American female mathematicians who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history.

For All Mankind

  • A chronicle on mankind‘s journey to the moon, using no narration, only the voices of the astronauts and mission control.

Cosmos

  • This documentary series explores the history of science and how we found our place in the cosmos.

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LISTEN

Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon – Craig Nelson

  • Recreates the story of the Apollo 11 moon mission through interviews, NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents.

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void – 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.

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon – Jeffrey Kluger

  • Citing the space race, Cold War and 1967 Apollo 1 tragedy, a riveting account of the harried mission to use an untested rocket to secure America’s position as the first nation to reach the moon reveals the dangers endured by its crew and the ways the mission brought inspiration and renewal to an America ravaged by assassinations and war.

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Annotations for books are courtesy of NoveList Plus. Annotations for movies are from the TFPL catalog.

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