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The Book List: Rockets and Rocketry

Beginning with ancient China through the 21st century, rockets have been a source of amazement and excitement. Just about everyone, child or adult, engineer or layman, can be entranced by the sight of a rocket streaking far up into the sky. Not surprisingly, many books have been published on the subject, ranging from fiction and popular non-fiction to technical guides. Here are some of the best titles on rockets and rocketry.

Make: Rockets

Make Rockets Book

Begin your exploration of rockets with some hands-on fun. The simple easy to follow instructions on Make: Rockets allow you to build your own working rockets. Be the first on your block to have your own space program.

It’s Only Rocket Science

It's Only Rocket Science Book

Written by Lucy Rogers, an accomplished engineer and science writer, It's Only Rocket Science describe the basics of modern rockets in plain English.

Introduction to Rocket Science and Engineering

Introduction to Rocket Science and Engineering Book

The Introduction to Rocket Science and Engineering is a highly technical guide and requires a firm grounding in engineering and mathematics. If you are looking for an overview of the theory, design, and engineering of rockets; look no further as this is the book for you.

The Rocket

The Rocket Book

Although published nearly 40 years ago, The Rocket remains one of the classic introductions to the history of rocketry, particularly its origins in China and the use of rockets long before the space program became a reality.

This is Rocket Science

This is Rocket Science Book

Rockets don’t just happen: Someone has to design and build them. This is Rocket Science celebrate true stories of some of the most intelligent, imaginative, hard-working and, yes, starry-eyed people in the world to have contributed to rocketry and the space program.

Von Braun

Von Braun: Dream of Space, Engineer of War

Von Braun is a detailed and fascinating biography of one of the key figures in rocket science. From his early days in Germany (including his leadership in the V1 and V2 rocket program) to the manned space program in the United States, Dr. von Braun was an important, if controversial, figure.

Rocket Boys

Rocket Boys Book

A group of boys in Coalwood, West Virginia take on the task of designing and building rockets during the 1950s. Rocket Boys became the basis of the motion picture October Sky.

Rocket Girl: America’s First Female Rocket Scientist

Rocket Girl Book

Rocket Girl tells the inspiring story of the engineer who helped to develop the fuel formula for the Explorer I program.

Rocket Ranch

Rocket Ranch Book

Those moments on shown on television and reported in newspapers were the culmination of years of difficult, often contentious, work behind the scenes at NASA. Rocket Ranch will bring you the inside story of the Apollo Moon program at the Kennedy Space Center.

Pocketful of Rockets

Pocketful of Rockets Book

Pocketful of Rockets tells the history of one of the leading rocketry research institutions in the 20th century, from the perspective of an engineer who spent most of his professional career developing rockets.

Rockets and People

Rockets and People

Rockets and People is part of a five-volume history of the rocketry and space programs of the Soviet Union.

China in Space: The Great Leap Forward

China in Space Book

The manned exploration of space hasn’t been limited to just the United States or the Soviet Union: China in Space tells the story of the nation that first developed the rocket centuries ago and how it is also a major player in rocket science.

Rocketship Galileo

Rocketship Galileo Book

Available in many editions, Robert Heinlein’s Rocketship Galileo is a classic of the adventure of space travel.

SpaceX’s Dragon

SpaceX's Dragon Book

Design, engineering, and development of the Dragon V2, which advances the concept of a reusable space vehicle. Will this be the rocket that finally makes interplanetary travel for humans a reality? Erik Seedhouse tells the story of America’s next generation spacecraft on SpaceX's Dragon.

Rockets of the World

Rockets of the World Book

Peter Always’ Rockets of the World large-format book provides color photographs and technical data for every rocket launched (for non-military purposes) from the mid-20th century to the present day. Is it a book of rocket “pin-up” photographs for enthusiasts or inspiration for everyone’s imagination… or both?

There are, of course, many more books on the subject of rockets and rocketry, but these will help you get started learning about and enjoying the subject. For more selections, visit your local library or your favorite bookstore.

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