Twelve for Twelve: Celebrating This Space Available’s Anniversary with Space Literature

Jack R. Lousma
This Space Available, by Emily Carney. To celebrate twelve years of This Space Available, here are twelve spaceflight books – in no particular order, some new, some older – that I'm either enjoying or planning to devour soon.

This Space Available

By Emily Carney

On November 3rd, This Space Available celebrated 12 years; it’s certainly been a long, strange trip from brainstorming blog posts while working at a department store perfume counter (as I was back then) to the present.

One thread holding this blog together is championing spaceflight literature. From research to R & R, I’ve read and loved hundreds of space books during my lifetime, and I want to inspire others to dig into these tomes with passion and enthusiasm. To celebrate twelve years of This Space Available, here are twelve spaceflight books – in no particular order, some new, some older – that I’m either enjoying or planning to devour soon. Links for purchase are provided: 

  1. Apollo Remastered by Andy Saunders: Newly remastered Apollo photos and images shed exquisite new light upon the first crewed lunar missions.
  2. Never Panic Early by Fred Haise and Bill Moore, with a foreword by Gene Kranz: An Apollo legend recounts the good (and not-so-good times) during a long career in spaceflight.
  3. Back to Earth: What Life in Space Taught Me About Our Home Planet—And Our Mission to Protect It by Nicole Stott: Astronaut and artist views Earth as a destination to be protected and preserved.
  4. Venus by William Sheehan and Sanjay Shridhar Limaye: A beautifully-illustrated primer on perhaps the most mysterious planet in our galactic neighborhood.
  5. Son of Apollo: The Adventures of a Boy Whose Father Went to the Moon by Christopher A. Roosa, with a foreword by Jim Lovell: Child of an Apollo astronaut recounts the challenges of the program and his father’s momentous achievements.
  6. A Long Voyage to the Moon: The Life of Naval Aviator and Apollo 17 Astronaut Ron Evans by Geoffrey Bowman, with a foreword by Jack Lousma: An arduous and sometimes unlikely path leads to the Moon for a young man from Kansas.
  7. Escaping Gravity: My Quest to Transform NASA and Launch a New Space Age by Lori Garver, with a foreword by Walter Isaacson: One woman’s quest to transform a post-Shuttle United States space program.
  8. Out of This World: New Mexico’s Contributions to Space Travel by Loretta Hall: Excellent roundup of the cradle of American rocketry.
  9. New Mexico Space Trail (Images of America) by Joseph T. Page II: Also an excellent primer on New Mexico’s long spaceflight heritage and is luxuriously illustrated.
  10. We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program by Richard Paul and Steven Moss: An essential addition to your bookshelf if you love anything related to space history – meet the fearless African American pioneers who made early spaceflight possible.
  11. The Friday Pilots, edited by Don Shepperd: Has a marvelous chapter by the late General Jim McDivitt, which might be the closest thing to qualifying as his official autobiography. It’s titled “CLC.” What does that acronym mean? You’ll have to read the book to discover.
  12. Alone on the Moon: A Soviet Lunar Odyssey by Gerald Brennan: Last on this list but certainly not least, a marvelous “what if” depicting a Soviet lunar landing and the life of one of the most criminally underrated pioneers in Soviet spaceflight.

Featured photo credit, August 1973 NASA photo: “View of astronaut Alan L. Bean, Skylab 3 commander, in his sleep compartment, reading a book.”


Emily Carney is a writer, space enthusiast, and creator of the This Space Available space blog, published since 2010. In January 2019, Emily’s This Space Available blog was incorporated into the National Space Society’s blog. The content of Emily’s blog can be accessed via the This Space Available blog category.

Note: The views expressed in This Space Available are those of the author and should not be considered as representing the positions or views of the National Space Society.


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Emily Carney

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