Throwback Thursday: Happy World Space Week

Did you know? October 4th to 10th is the time to celebrate a totally out of this world holiday: World Space Week!

Founded by the United Nations in 1999, World Space Week is a time for people all over the globe to celebrate science, technology, and how those two things have improved the human condition. The start and end dates of World Space Week were chosen specifically to recognize two important dates in space history:

  • October 4, 1957: Launch of the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, thus opening the way for space exploration
  • October 10, 1967: The signing of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activites of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

We decided to honor this maybe not-as-well-known holiday by looking for space-themed books in the Archive. As Deimosa explained to me, a lot of Book Club's first original books were grounded in nonfiction: books of facts and stats that kids would absorb, memorize and enjoy. (And, joke books!) Here's what we found:

Man's Conquest of Space by James J. Haggerty, 1966

Two astronauts grazed across and endless stretch of black space towards the spinning blue Earth. Suddenly a light winked in the distance. Another spaceship was approaching.

It drew nearer at a stunning speed. The men braced themselves. Swiftly the other craft was upon them. The pilot pressed the trigger and began to shoot... with a movie camera...

This was the meeting of the Gemini 6 and Gemini 7 - the first manned rendezvous in orbit, a milestone in our ascent to the stars. Here in an exciting book that tells yoyu all about these spacecraft and the ships that are soon to outstrip them. It takes you to the laboratories where man schemes to conquer space - and to the launching pads where his dreams become reality.

Project Mercury by James J. Haggerty, Jr., 1961

Your ticket to the exploration of explorations - man's first flight into space!

How will it feel to streak through space in a tiny capsule? Will the capsule return to earth safely? Or will it become a "flying coffin"?

Ride with the astronaut that will make history... experience the thrills of blast-off, flight and safe landing. Be part of the team that will open the door to the mysteries of the worlds beyond our atmosphere.

Here's the exciting story of Project Mercury - the men and the space "hardware" that make up our most daring adventure into the unknown.

Environments Out There by Isaac Asimov, 1967

Out there... on Venus and Mars abd giant Jupiter... what's it like?

Is there air to breathe, water to drink? Could a man survive the blistering heat, the bone-chilling cold, the freakish gravity?

Don't just stand there wondering. Do something. Read this book - and you'll be joining Isaac Asimov in an astonishing tour full of surprise discoveries.

First, to the moon. Explore the weird craters, the lunar seas...

Next, the nearer planets and the asteroids. Prode for signs of life on Mars. Set up an observation post on tiny Ceres...

Push on to the satellites of the gas mammoths. For a special treat, make the trip to Mimas and study Saturn's rings...

Tired? Take a rest stop on Pluto...

Then rocket to the stars - in thrilling search of other solar system and other worlds!

The Moon Explorers by Tony Simon, 1970

Here is the story of the project to put a man on the moon, from the beginning to the triumph of Apollo 11.

Here, too, is the story of the upcoming oon voyages, planetary probes, and space stations - the amazing future of man in space.

The First Travel Guide to the Moon: What to Pack, How to Go, and What to See When You Get There by Rhoda Blumberg, 1980

Get ready space travelers. It's time to start planning your trip to the Moon.

In earlier times, Rhoda Blumberg specialized in travel guides to such places as France, Germany, and Bermuda. Now, using that expertise, she is able to guide you into outer space with answers to such practical questions as:

1. What should I pack?
2. How will I go?
3. What should I see when I get there?

Whether soaring for basketballs at the Moon's Sport Center, or travelling to see the faous spot where two pioneer astronauts planted the US flag during the space flights of the 1970s, you'll be glad you have your travel guide along. It rathes the hotels on the near and far side, provides tips for rock collectors, and more.

For the 21st-centure traveler, the Moon is a land of enchantment. Let The First Travel Guide to the Moon take you there.

Communication Satellites: Message Centers in Space by Bernice Kohn, 1975

Today, no one thinks twice about watching a television program broadcast from the other side of the earth. But less than twenty years ago, such instant global communication would have seemed little short of miraculous.

This absorbing book traces the dramatic development of the communications satellites which make worldwide television and telephone transmission possible.

The Mork and Mindy Story by Peggy Herz, 1979

Author's note: Okay so, this is more of a behind-the-scenes of a popular 70s TV show book rather than a book about space, but technically, Mork from Ork was from outer space! So, it stays.

Special thanks to Librarian Deimosa Webber-Bey for her ongoing help with this series!

Gina Asprocolas