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Astronaut Biographies


For those who have seen the Earth from space, and for the hundreds and perhaps thousands more who will, the experience most certainly changes your perspective. The things that we share in our world are far more valuable than those which divide us.
—Donald Williams, Astronaut, United States of America

Leland Melvin with his dogs, Jake and Scout. “I snuck them into NASA to get this picture,” Melvin says
Credits: NASA

Human exploration of space is one of the most important endeavors of mankind.  What does it take to be one of those space traveling pioneers?  Curiosity, a thirst for extra-terrestrial knowledge, a highly developed sense of adventure– those are some of the attributes necessary to take the risks inherent in venturing into the cosmos.

Through astronauts’ accounts and testimonies available at NASA Headquarters Library, those who haven’t flown into space, orbited the Earth, left a footprint on the moon, or performed spacewalks on the International Space Station can gain insight into the courage it takes to be an astronaut and the ways in which space exploration has changed astronauts’ perspectives of life on Earth.

These pioneers in space have laid the groundwork for future deep space explorations, yet the soul of an explorer dwells in all of us. Find out more through the astronaut biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs available at the NASA Headquarters Library, listed below.

NASA Headquarters employees and contractors: Call x0168 or email for information on borrowing or in-library use of these items. 

Members of the public: Contact your local library for availability of these items.

The Library welcomes your comments or suggestions about this webpage.


Abbey, Alan D. Journey of Hope: The Story of Ilan Ramon, Israel’s First Astronaut. New York, NY: Gefen, 2003.
TL 789.85 .R36 A23 2003 BOOKSTACKS

Ackmann, Martha. The Mercury 13: the Untold Story of Thirteen American Women and the Dream of Space Flight. New York, NY: Random House, 2003.
TL 789.85 .A1 A35 2003 BOOKSTACKS

Akens, David S. John Glenn, First American in Orbit. Huntsville, AL: Strode Publishers, 1969.
TL 789.85 .G6 A64 BOOKSTACKS

Aldrin, Buzz. Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home From the Moon; with Ken Abraham. New York, NY: Harmony Books, 2009.
TL 789.85 .A4 A3 2009 BOOKSTACKS

Aldrin, Buzz. Buzz Aldrin Reaching For the Moon. New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2005.
TL 789.85 .A4 A3 2005 BOOKSTACKS

Aldrin, Colonel Edwin E. “Buzz” Jr. and Warga, Wayne. Return to Earth. New York, NY: Random House, 1973.
TL 789.85 .A4 A3 1973 BOOKSTACKS

Anderson, Clayton C. The Ordinary Spacemen From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska, Press, 2015.
TL 789.85 .A53 A3 2015 BOOKSTACKS

Bean, Alan. Apollo: An Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan Bean; with Andrew Chaikin. Shelton, CT: Greenwich Workshop Press, 1998.
TL 789.8 .U6 A518 1998 BOOKSTACKS

Boomhower, Ray. Gus Grissom: The Lost Astronaut. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Historical Society Press, 2004.
TL 789.85 .G7 B66 2004 BOOKSTACKS

Borman, Frank. Countdown: An Autobiography. New York, NY: W. Morrow, 1988.
TL 789.85 .B67 A3 BOOKSTACKS

Bredeson, Carmen. Shannon Lucid: Space Ambassador. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press, 1998.
TL 789.85 .L83 B74 1998 BOOKSTACKS

Buckbee, Ed. Space Cowboys. Burlington, Ontario: Apogee Books, 2005.
TL 789.85 .A1 B89 2005 BOOKSTACKS

Burgess, Colin and Kate Doolan. Fallen Astronauts: Heroes Who Died Reaching for the Moon. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2003
TL 789.85 .A1 B86 2003 BOOKSTACKS

Carpenter, Scott, et al. We Seven by the Astronauts Themselves. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1962.

Carpenter, Scott and Kris Stoeve. For Spacious Skies: The Uncommon Journey of a Mercury Astronaut. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2002.
TL 789.85 .C37 S76 2002 BOOKSTACKS

Cernan, Eugene and Don Davis. The Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America’s Race in Space. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1999.
TL 789.8 .U6 A525 1999 BOOKSTACKS

Conrad, Nancy. Rocket Man: Astronaut Pete Conrad’s Incredible Ride to the Moon and Beyond. New York, NY: New American Library, 2005.
TL 789.85 .C657 C66 2005 BOOKSTACKS

Cooper, L. Gordon Jr. Leap of Faith: An Astronaut’s Journey into the Unknown. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 2000.
TL 789.85 .C66 A3 2000 BOOKSTACKS

Cooper, L. Gordon Jr., et al. The Astronauts, Pioneers in Space by the Seven Astronauts of Project Mercury. New York, NY: Golden Press, 1961.
TL 789.8 .U6 M46 1961 BOOKSTACKS

Collins, Michael. Carrying the Fire; An Astronaut’s Journeys. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1974.
TL 789.85 .C64 A33 BOOKSTACKS

Corrigan, Grace. A Journal for Christa: Christa McAuliffe, Teacher in Space. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.
TL 789.85 .M33 C67 1993 BOOKSTACKS

Cunningham, Walter. The All-American Boys. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Ibooks, 2003.
TL 521.312 .C86 2003 BOOKSTACKS

Doran, Jamie and Bizony, Piers. Starman, The Truth behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin. New York, NY: Walker & Company, 2011.
TL 789.85 .G3 D67 2011 BOOKSTACKS

Duke, Charlie and Dotty. Moonwalker. Nashville, TN: Oliver-Nelson Books, 1990.
TL 789.85 .D84 A3 1990 BOOKSTACKS

Gagarin, Yurii Alekseevich. Road to the Stars. Moscow: Foreign Languages Pub. House, 1962.
TL 789.85 .G3 A33 1962 BOOKSTACKS

Garan, Ron. The Orbital Perspective Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of Seventy-One Million Miles. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler, 2015.
TL 789.85 .G37 G37 2015 BOOKSTACKS

Grissom, Betty and Henry Still. Starfall. New York, NY: Crowell, 1974.
TL 789.85 .G7 G74 1974 BOOKSTACKS

Grissom, Virgil “Gus”. Gemini; A Personal Account of Man’s Venture into Space. New York, NY: Macmillan, 1968.

Hadfield, Chris Col. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. New York, NY: Back Bay Books, 2015.
TL 789.85 .H34 A3 2015 BOOKSTACKS

Hansen, James. First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 2005.
TL 789.85 .A75 H36 2005 BOOKSTACKS

Hohler, Robert. I Touch the Future: The Story of Christa McAuliffe. New York, NY: Random House, 1986.
TL 789.85 .M33 H64 BOOKSTACKS

Husband, Evelyn. High Calling: The Courageous Life and Faith of Space Shuttle Columbia Commander Rick Husband. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2003.
TL 789.85 .H87 H87 2003 BOOKSTACKS

Irwin, James Benson. To Rule the Night. Philadelphia, PA: A.J. Holman Co., 1973.
TL 789.85 .I78 A3 BOOKSTACKS

Jackson, Garnet Nelson. Mae Jemison Astronaut. Cleveland, OH: Modern Curriculum Press, 1994.
TL 789.85 .J4 J33 1994 BOOKSTACKS

Jemison, Mae. Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments From My Life. New York, NY: Scholastic Press, 2001.
TL 789.85 .J4 J45 2001 BOOKSTACKS

Jones, Thomas D. Sky Walking: An Astronaut’s Memoir. New York, NY: Smithsonian Books, 2006.
TL 789.85 .J66 .A3 2006 BOOKSTACKS

Kelly, Scott. Endurance My Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017.
TL 789.85 .K45 A3 2017 BOOKSTACKS

Lebedev, Valentin Vital’evich. Diary of a Cosmonaut: 211 Days in Space. College Station, TX: PhytoResource Research, Inc, 1988.
TL 789.85 .L38 A3 1988 BOOKSTACKS

Leinbach, Michael D. and Ward, Jonathan H. Bringing Columbia Home, The Untold Story of a Lost Space Shuttle and Her Crew. New York, NY: Arcade Publishing, 2017.
TL 867 .L45 2017 BOOKSTACKS

Lenehan, Anne E. Story: The Way of Water. Berowra NSW, Australia: Communications Agency, 2004.
TL 789.85 .M87 L36 2004 BOOKSTACKS

Leopold, George. Calculated Risk the Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom. West Lafayette, IN: 2016.
TL 789.85 .G7 L46 2016 BOOKSTACKS

Linenger, Jerry M. Letters from Mir: An Astronauts Letters to his Son. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2003.
TL 789.85 .L56 L48 2003 BOOKSTACKS

Linenger, Jerry M. Off the Planet: Surviving Five Perilous Months Aboard the Space Station Mir. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2000.
TL 789.85 .L56 A3 2000 BOOKSTACKS

Lovell, Jim and Jeffrey Kluger. Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1994.
TL 789.8 .U6 A5488 1994 BOOKSTACKS

Massimino, Mike. Spaceman An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe. New York: NY: Brown Archetype, 2016.
TL 789.85 .M37 2016 BOOKSTACKS

Melvin, Leland. Chasing Space: An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances. New York, NY: Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017.
TL 789.85 .M46 A3 2017 BOOKSTACKS

Moseley, Willie G. Smoke Jumper, Moon Pilot, The Remarkable Life of Apollo 14 Astronaut Stuart Roosa. Morley, MO: Acclaim Press, 2011.
TL 789.85 .A4 M67 2011 BOOKSTACKS

Mullane, R. Mike. Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut. New York, NY: Scribner, 2006.
TL 789.85 .M86 A3 2006 BOOKSTACKS

Nelson, Bill. Mission: An American Congressman’s Voyage to Space. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988.

O’Leary, Brian. The Making of an Ex-Astronaut. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1970.
TL 789.85 .O4 A3 1970 BOOKSTACKS

Pierce, Philip N. John H. Glenn: Astronaut. New York, NY: F. Watts, 1962.
TL 789.85 .G6 P5 1962 BOOKSTACKS

Schirra, Walter M. Jr. Schirra’s Space. Boston, MA: Quinlan Press, 1988.
TL 789.85 .S35 A3 1988 BOOKSTACKS

Scott, Winston E. Reflections from Earth Orbit. Burlington, Ontario: Apogee, 2005.
TL 789.85 .S3 2005 BOOKSTACKS

Sharpe, Mitchell R. “It is I, Sea Gull”: Valentina Tereshkova, First Woman in Space. New York, NY: Crowell, 1975.
TL 789.85 .N48 S5 BOOKSTACKS

Sharpe, Mitchell R. Yuri Gagarin, First Man In Space. Huntsville, AL: Strode Publishers, 1969
TL 789.85 .G3 S5 1969 BOOKSTACKS

Shayler, David. Around the World in 84 Days: The Authorized Biography of Skylab Astronaut Jerry Carr. Burlington, Ontario: Apogee, 2008.
TL 789.85 .C377 2008 BOOKSTACKS

Shepard, Alan. Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon. Atlanta, GA: Turner Pub, 1994.
TL 789.8 .U6 A58 1994 BOOKSTACKS

Slayton, Donald K. “Deke”. Deke!: U.S. Manned Space: From Mercury to the Shuttle. New York, NY: Forge, 1994.
TL 789.85 .S55 A3 1994 BOOKSTACKS

Stafford, Thomas P. We Have Capture: Tom Stafford and the Space Race. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, c2002.
TL 789.85 .S73 S73 2002 BOOKSTACKS, HQ HISTORY

Thompson, Neal. Light This Candle: The Life and Times of Alan Shepard, America’s First Spaceman. New York, NY: Crown Publishers, c2004.
TL 789.85 .S54 T49 2004 BOOKSTACKS, HQ HISTORY

Walters, Glenn R. OK, Let’s Go for It! A Story of Dreams Shared, Dreams Lost, Dreams Renewed, A Memoir of Glenn Waters. Springboro, OH: Cannon Publishing Braughler Books, 2017.
TL 789.85 .W458 W358 2017

Walton, Darwin McBeth. Overcoming Challenges: The life of Charles F. Bolden, Jr.. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn Co., 2000.
TL 789.85 .B65 W35 2000 BOOKSTACKS


Aldrin, Buzz and Malcolm McConnell. Men From Earth. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1989.
TL 789.8 .U6 A49 1989 BOOKSTACKS

Bourland, Charles T., and Gregory L. Vogt. The Astronauts’ Cookbook: Tales, Recipes, and More. New York, NY, London: Springer, 2010
TL 1560 .B687 A887 2010 BOOKSTACKS

Burns, Khephra. Black Stars in Orbit. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, Brace, and Co., 1995.
TL 789.85 .A1 B87 1995 BOOKSTACKS

Burgess, Colin. Australia’s Astronauts: Three Men and a Spaceflight Dream. East Roseville, NSW: Kangaroo Press, 1999.
TL 789.85 .A1 B88 1999 BOOKSTACKS

Cassutt, Michael. Who’s Who in Space, The International Space Station Edition. New York, NY: Macmillan Library Reference USA, 1999.
TL 788.5 .C37 1999 READY REF

Caubarreaux, Eric M. For All mankind: Recipients of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace, 2010.
CJ 5805 .C383 F67 2010 READY REF

Chaikin, Andrew. Voices From the Moon: Apollo Astronauts Describe Their Lunar Experience, with Victoria Kohl. New York, NY: Viking Studio, 2009.
TL 799 .M6 C434 2009 BOOKSTACKS

Chrysler, C. Donald. On Course to the Stars: The Roger B. Chaffee Story. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1968.
TL 789.85 .C3 C55 1968 BOOKSTACKS

Cipriano, Anthony J. America’s Journeys into Space, The Astronauts of the United States.  New York, NY: Wanderer Books, 1979.
TL 789.8 .U5 C56 1979 BOOKSTACKS

Congressional Research Service. Astronauts and Cosmonauts Biographical and Statistical Data. Washington, DC: GPO, August, 1993.
TL 789.85 .A1 A87 1993 BOOKSTACKS

Ellis, Lee. Who’s Who of NASA Astronauts. 1st ed. River Falls, WI: Americana Group Pub., 2001.
TL 789.85 .A1 E44 2001 READY REF

French, Francis. Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2007.
TL 789.85 .A1 F74 2007 BOOKSTACKS

Gainer, Chris. Canada in Space, The People & Stories behind Canada’s Role in the Exploration of Space. Canada: Folklore Publishing, 2006.
TL 789.8 .C3 G34 2006

Hawthorne, Douglas. The Men and Women of Space. San Diego, CA: Univelt, 1992.
TL 789.85 .A1 H38 1992 READY REF

Heiken, Grant. On the Moon: The Apollo Journals. New York, NY: Springer, 2007.
TL 789.85 .A1 H45 2007 BOOKSTACKS

Hooper, Gordon. The Soviet Cosmonaut Team: A Comprehensive Guide to the Men and Women of the Soviet Space Programme. 2nd ed. London, UK: 1990.
TL 789.85 .A1 H66 1986

Jones, Stanley P.and L.Octavia Tripp. African-American Astronauts. Mankato, MN: Capstone High/Low Books, 1998.
TL 789.85 .A1 J66 1998 BOOKSTACKS

Kevles, Bettyann Holtzmann. Almost Heaven: The Story of Women in Space. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2003.
TL 789.85 .A1 K48 2003 BOOKSTACKS

Lattimer, Dick.  “All We Did was Fly to the Moon”.  Gainesville, FL: The Whispering Eagle Press, 1985.
TL 789.8 .U5 A64 1985 BOOKSTACKS

Lebedev, L.A. Sons of the Blue Planet. translation of Syny goluboi planety. NASA TT 72-52004. New Delhi, India: Amerind Pub Co, 1973.
TL 789.85 .A1 L43 1973 BOOKSTACKS

Library of Congress Congressional Research Service.  Astronauts and Cosmonauts Biographical and Statistical Data [Revised—August 31, 1993].  Washington, DC: GPO, 1994.
KF 24.8 .A1 FY 1995 V. 3 BOOKSTACKS

MacKinnon, Douglas and Joseph Baldanza. Footprints: The 12 Men Who Walked on the Moon Reflect on Their Flights, Their Lives, and the Future. Washington, DC: Acropolis Books, 1989.
TL 789.85 .A1 M33 1989 BOOKSTACKS

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. A Tribute to National Aeronautics and Space Administration Minority Astronauts: Past and Present. 2nd ed. NP 1999-06-238-HQ. Washington, DC: NASA, 1999.
TL 789.85 .A1 T74 1999 BOOKSTACKS
Available through NTRS as doc. no. 20000056996.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. A Tribute to National Aeronautics and Space Administration Women Astronauts: Past and Present. NP 2001-12-226-HQ. Washington, DC: NASA, 2001.
TL 789.85 .A1 T75 2001 BOOKSTACKS

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Astronaut Fact Book. Washington, DC: NASA, 2005.
TL 789.85.A1 A86 2005 READY REF
Available online (

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Manned Space Flight Team. NASA-EP-11. Washington, DC: GPO, 1963.
TL 789.85 .U55 1963 BOOKSTACKS
Available through NTRS as doc. no. 19630008049.

Nolen, Stephanie. Promised the Moon: The Untold Story of the First Women in the Space Race. Toronto, Can.: Penguin Canada, 2002.
TL 789.8.U5 N64 2002 BOOKSTACKS

O’Connor, Karen. Sally Ride and the New Astronauts: Scientists in Space. New York, NY: F. Watts, 1983.

Phelps, Alfred J. They Had a Dream: The Story of African-American Astronauts. Novato, CA: Presidio, c1994.
TL 789.85 .A1 P43 1994 BOOKSTACKS

Sacknoff, Scott. In Their Own Words: Conversations With the Astronauts and Men Who Led America’s Journey Into Space and to the Moon. Bethesda, MD: Space Publications, 2003.
TL 789.85 .A1 T44 2003 BOOKSTACKS

Scott, David and Leonov, Alexei. Two Sides of the Moon. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2004.
TL 540 .S36 S36 2004 BOOKSTACKS

Shayler, David J. NASA’s Scientist-Astronauts. New York, NY: Springer, 2007.
TL 789.85 .A1 S53 2007 BOOKSTACKS

Shayler, David, and Ian Moule. Women in Space: Following Valentina. Chichester, UK: Praxis Pub. 2005.
TL 789.85 .W66 S53 2005 BOOKSTACKS

Smith, Andrew. Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth. New York, NY: Fourth Estate, 2005.
TL 789.85 .A1 S642 2005 BOOKSTACKS

United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA Astronauts. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1969.
TL 789.85 .N37 1969 BOOKSTACKS

Whitfield, Steve. Project Gemini: Pocket Space Guide. Burlington, Ontario: Apogee Books, 2007.
TL 789.8 .U6 G46 W45 2007 BOOKSTACKS

__________. Project Mercury: Pocket Space Guide. Burlington, Ontario: Apogee Books, 2007.
TL 789.8 .U6 M47 W45 2007 BOOKSTACKS

Woodmansee, Laura S. Women Astronauts. Burlington, Ontario: Apogee Books, 2001.
TL 789.85 .A1 W66 2002 BOOKSTACKS


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