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124 Free Ebooks and Resources on Space Exploration and Outer Space

124 Free Ebooks and Resources on Space Exploration and Outer Space
Human exploration of space made many dramatic advances in the 20th century, including the first steps on the Moon in 1969. Human space exploration also helps to address fundamental questions about our place in the Universe and the history of our solar system. Through addressing the challenges related to human space exploration we expand technology, create new industries, and help to foster a peaceful connection with other nations.

This compilation contains resources about journals, history books and collections, online courses and textbooks, patents, user manuals, reports, research and many more all devoted to the latest discoveries, missions, and phenomena in space exploration. The materials are both mixed between downloadable formats and online reading only, so feel free to bookmark the ones that you find interesting.


  1. AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics
  2. AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets
  3. Icarus
  4. Journal of the Astronautical Sciences
  5. Planetary and Space Science
  6. Acta Astronautica

History Books and Collections

  1. John D Clarke:
    Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants
  2. NASA:
    Key documents in the history of space policy
  3. Boris Tchertok. Rockets and People Vol I – Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3
  4. Boris Tchertok. Rockets and People Vol 2 – Part 1
  5. Boris Tchertok. Rockets and People Vol 3 – Part 1
  6. Boris Tchertok. Rockets and People Vol 4 – Part 1
  7. NASA History Office books
    Read online
  8. Space Shuttle Missions Summary
    (NASA, 2011)
  9. Apollo manuals
    from Ron Burkey.
  10. Stages to Saturn
    Roger E. Bilstein. 1980.
  11. Taming Liquid Hydrogen: The Centaur Upper Stage Rocket, 1958-2002
  12. A brief history of the DoD space test program
    ANSER, 1993.
  13. Energiya-Buran: The soviet space shuttle. Bart Hendrickx, Bert Vis. Springer, 2007.
  14. Project Orion : the true story of the atomic spaceship, George Dyson. New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2002.
  15. Press Information: Space Shuttle Transportation System March 1982. A highly detailed reference on Space Shuttle systems from Rockwell International, one year into the flight program.
    WebArchive PDF version (Full archived HTML version of the 1988 revision online)
  16. Shuttle Operational Data Book Volume IV (partial)
    Part of the “crash book” issued to rescue personnel in the early parts of the shuttle program, contains highly detailed drawings of the Orbiter exterior and some interior systems.
  17. Space Shuttle Recordation
    Historic American Engineering Records documentation of the Space Transportation System. Comprehensive.

Online Courses and Textbooks

  1. Khan Academy
  2. The Physics Hypertextbook
  3. Bookboon’s Engineering section
  4. Engineering Mathematics: YouTube Workbook
  5. Alison Foundation Diploma in Mathematics – Science, Technology and Engineering

Satellite Constellation Patents

by John E. Draim

  1. 4809935 / 4854527 / 5582367 / 5669585 / 5788187 / 4809935 / 4854527 / 5582367 / 5669585 / 5788187 / 5845206 / 5957409 / 5979832 / 6102335 / 6263188 / 6457678 / 6487476 / 6577864 / 6611683 / 6678519 / 6701126 / 6714521 / 6795687 / 6954613 / 5957409 / 5979832 / 6102335 / 6263188 / 6457678 / 6487476 / 6577864 / 6611683 / 6678519 / 6701126 / 6714521 / 6795687 / 6954613

Other Related Posts

  1. 55 Free Ebooks on Aeronautics and Aerospace Technology to Explore Worlds Beyond Earth – 2021
    In this compilation we’ve compiled 55 free ebooks from Aeronautics & Astronautics, Aerospace Engineering and Propulsion Technology. If space exploration or reaching into the deep-space fascinates you, this compilation may tickle your curiosity and your quest for more knowledge. Happy exploring!
  2. Other Free Space Ebooks and Resources

The List of (Historical and Current) Launch Vehicle User Manuals

  1. Soyuz (from Baykonur), archived at Arianespace
  2. Soyuz (from Baykonur), StarSem
  3. Long March 2C
    An archive copy (1999) from GlobalSecurity in separate chapters.
  4. Long March 3A
    Final version, 2011.
  5. Taurus-II
    Archived at Wayback Machine.
  6. Rockot
  7. Minotaur I
  8. Pegasus
    A historical copy from Web Archive as of 2014-07-02. Merger with ATK did not leave stones unturned.
  9. Falcon 9
    From SpaceX.

Incident and Accident Investigation Reports

  1. NASA Mishap Investigation Final Report
  2. Space Shuttle Columbia
  3. Apollo 13
  4. Space Shuttle Challenger (Rogers Commission Report)
  5. Genesis mission mishap report
  6. Mars Climate Orbiter
  7. Apollo 1: NASA Commission Report
  8. Apollo 1: Senate Commission Report
  9. Fault Tree Handbook with Aerospace Applications. Vesely et al., 2002.


  1. Space Apps Challenge
    A two-day hackathon where teams of technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, developers and students across the globe collaborate and engage with publicly available data to design innovative solutions for global challenges.
  2. New Space 2015
    A two-day event bringing space startups, established companies, and government agencies togeter with Silicon Valley’s investors and tech innovators.
  3. International Astronautical Congress
    Global, multidisciplinary and covering all space sectors and topics, IAC offers everyone the latest space information, developments but above all contacts and potential partnerships.
  4. Night Sky Network
    The Night Sky Network is a nationwide coalition that regularly shares their knowledge, time, and telescopes to bring amazing aspects of astronomy to you (it’s essentially a one-stop-shopping site to find a club or event in your town)
  5. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    List of worldwide space events.
  6. The International Conference for Aerospace Experts, Academics, Military Personnel, and Industry Leaders
    The international IEEE Aerospace Conference, with AIAA and PHM Society as technical cosponsors, is organized to promote interdisciplinary understanding of aerospace systems, their underlying science and technology, and their applications to government and commercial endeavors.


  1. SpaceX
    Flickr account of SpaceX, with high resolution images and diagrams released in the Public Domain
  2. Spacelog
    Read the stories of early space exploration from the original transcripts. Now open to the public in a searchable, linkable format.
  3. Cities at Night
    High resolution night time city photos from the ISS. Help by classifying new cities!
  4. Disk Detective
    Comb the Milky Way looking for stars that could harbor planet-forming disks.
  5. NASA World Wind
    Leveraging Landsat satellite imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data, World Wind lets you experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if you were really there.
  6. Hubble SOURCE
    All of Hubble Space Telescope’s press release images are available for downloading in various formats, including JPEG, PDF, and full-resolution TIFF.
  7. Space Shots
    A gallery of photos, visualizations, and other pictures of outer space, updated almost daily by the editors of popular science.

Higher Learning

  1. International Space University
    The International Space University is a private non-profit institution that specializes in providing graduate-level training to the future leaders of the emerging global space community at its Central Campus in Strasbourg, France, and at locations around the world.


  1. INSPIRE Project
    A non-profit scientific, educational project whose objective is to bring the excitement of observing natural and man-made radio waves to high school students.
  2. My NASA Data
    Mentoring and inquiry using NASA Data for Atmospheric and earth science for Teachers and Amateurs (MY NASA DATA) is a project to enable K-12 teachers and students, as well as citizen scientists, to explore the large volumes of data that NASA collects about the Earth from space.
  3. Mars Student Imaging Project
    Teams of students in grades 5 through college sophomore level will have the opportunity to work with scientists, mission planners and educators on the THEMIS team at ASU’s Mars Space Flight Facility or via distance learning, to image a site on Mars using the THEMIS visible wavelength camera onboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft which is currently orbiting Mars every 2 hours.
  4. Crash Course Astronomy
    An easily accessible and informative introduction to outer space.
  5. McGill Institute for Aerospace Engineering
    This training program will prepare graduate-level engineering students to step directly into industry from university research projects, thereby helping to maintain and expand Canada’s strong presence in the global aerospace industry.
  6. Aerospace education in Quebec
    When it comes to training engineers, technicians and specialized workers, Québec has partnered with key industry players to develop training programs adapted to industry needs.
  7. List of Aerospace Universities and Colleges in the U.S.
    Students looking to earn a degree in aerospace engineering must consider a few things when choosing a school, such as aerospace programs available, research and work-study opportunities and a university’s accreditation status.

Collective Research

  1. Milky Way Project
    A project where you can help create a better understanding of how the Milky Way evolves over time and potentially make new unexpected scientific discoveries.
  2. Planet Hunters
    Help discover new exoplanets (aka extrasolar planets/planets orbiting other stars) by exploring space telescope data from NASA’s Kepler mission.
  3. Galaxy Zoo
    Hubble needs your help classifying images of hundreds of thousands of galaxies taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
  4. Galaxy Zoo Radio
    Help astronomers discover supermassive black holes.
  5. Moon Zoo
    A citizen science project around classifying high resolution images of craters and various parts of the lunar surface
  6. Solar Stormwatch
    Learn how to spot solar explosions and track them across space to Earth. Your work could make a new scientific discovery as well as give astronauts an early warning if dangerous radiation is headed their way.
  7. Stardust@Home
    Together, you and thousands of other Stardust@Home participants will find the first pristine interstellar dust particles ever brought to Earth.
  8. Planet Four
    Unearth secrets about Mars’ climate by scouring the Martian surface for distinct features and blotches.


  1. PolAres
    The PolAres program aims to develop strategies for human-robotic interactions in preparation for a future human-robotic Mars surface expedition.
  2. DASHlink
    A virtual laboratory for scientists and engineers to disseminate results and collaborate on research problems in health management technologies for aeronautics systems.


    Open access to 1,028,481 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics


  1. Outer Space Treaty
    Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.

Rockets & Starships

  1. Atomic Rockets
    This site originally focused on rocketry equations, but has grown to encompass other topics of interest to SF authors and game designers.
  2. Portland State Aerospace Society
    Portland State Aerospace Society is a student aerospace engineering project at Portland State University, building ultra-low-cost, open source rockets that feature some of the most sophisticated amateur rocket avionics systems out there today.
  3. DIY Rocket Science
    Open Source Hardware is ushering in a new era of personal & DIY space exploration. Starting your own space program has never been easier. Only a few years ago you needed millions (or billions) of dollars and a huge manufacturing facility. Not anymore. Thanks to low cost software and manufacturing tools – you can build satellites in your garage.

Ballistics, Dynamics, and Control

  1. Space Vehicle Dynamics and Control. Bong Wie. AIAA, 1998.
  2. Modeling and Simulation of Aerospace Vehicle Dynamics. (2nd ed.). Peter H. Zipfel. AIAA, 2007
  3. Flexible spacecraft dynamics, control and guidance (technologies by Giovanni Campolo). Leonardo Mazzini. Springer, 2016.
  4. Statistical Orbit Determination. B.D. Tapley, B.E. Schutz, G.H. Born. New York, Elsevier, 2004.
  5. Spacetrack Report Number 3. Hoots, Roehrich. The foundational work on General Perturbations theory used in the SGP4 propagator for TLE (Two Line Element) data.
    Free PDF
  6. Dynamical Systems, the Three-Body Problem and Space Mission Design, Koon, Lo, Marsden & Ross, 2006.
    Free PDF form Caltech
  7. Fundamentals of Kalman Filtering: A Practical Approach. Paul Zarchan, Howard Musoff, Frank K. Lu. (3rd ed.) AIAA, 2009.
  8. Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students. Howard Curtis, 2005.
  9. LEO on the Cheap: Methods for Achieving Drastic Reductions in Space Launch Costs. John R. London III, Lt Col, USAF. Research Report No. AU-ARI-93-8, Air University Press, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, October 1994.


  1. Modern Engineering for Design of Liquid-Propellant Rocket Engines. Dieter K. Huzel and David H. Huang.
    AIAA, 1992
  2. Rocket Propulsion Elements, 7th Ed.. G.P. Sutton & O. Biblarz. John Wiley & Sons, 2001
    Free PDF from MIT
  3. Liquid rocket combustion instability. NASA, 1972. SP-194. Harrje D.T., Reardon F.H.
    Free PDF from NTRS via WebArchive
  4. Fundamentals of Electric Propulsion: Ion and Hall Thrusters. Dan M. Goebel, Ira Katz.
    Free PDF from NASA
  5. An Introduction to Rocket Missile Propulsion
    Rocketdyne Technical Training publication that covers basic rocket equations in a simplified manner.
  6. Glossary of Terms Used in Chemical Propulsion Systems
    Defines most commonly used words used in discussing chemical rocket systems.

Thermal control

  1. Spacecraft Thermal Control Handbook: Vol.1 Fundamental Technologies. David G. Gilmore (ed.) AIAA, 2002.


  1. Deep Space Optical Communications. Hamid Hemmati. JPL, 2005.
    Available online at JPL
  2. Deep Space Telecommunications Systems Engineering. Joseph H. Yuen (Ed.), Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 1982, (JPL Publication 82-76) Available

External risks

  1. Space Debris: Models and Risk Analysis. Heinrich Klinkrad. 2006.
  2. Spacecraft-Environment Interactions. Daniel Hastings & Henry Garrett. Cambridge Univ.Press, 1996.
    Planetary Protection Policy


  1. Hypersonic aerothermodynamics. John J. Bertin. AIAA, 1994.
  2. Coming Home: Reentry and Recovery from Space. Roger D. Launius, Dennis R. Jenkins, NASA
    Free download in EPUB / MOBI / PDF formats via NASA e-Books page
  3. Introduction to Astrodynamic Reentry. Lt.-Col. Kerry D. Hicks, 2009.
    Free PDF online


  1. Spacecraft Operations. Thomas Uhlig, Florian Sellmaier, Michael Schmidhuber. Springer, 2014.
  2. Safety Standard for Oxygen and Oxygen Systems. NASA, 1996. Available in

Manned Exploration References

  1. NASA Johnson Space Center Flight Data File page
    Links to PDF copies of Shuttle and Station crew procedures and training manuals.
  2. The ISS: Operating an Outpost in the New Frontier
    Contains good descriptions and schematics of ISS systems, as well as descriptions of ISS operations and training. Written from a flight control viewpoint.

Distributed Computing

  1. LHC@home
    By contributing spare processing capacity on your computer, people are able to run simulations of beam dynamics and particle collisions in the Large Hadron Collider’s giant detectors.
  2. Einstein@Home
    An effort to discover new neutron stars (massive stars that have collapsed under their own weight) and hopefully directly detect one of Albert Einstein’s predictions for the first time: gravitational waves
  3. Constellation
    A community that provides distributed computing power to aerospace research projects that might not otherwise have access to supercomputers
  4. Milky Way@Home
    Milkyway@Home uses the BOINC platform to harness volunteered computing resources, creating a highly accurate three dimensional model of the Milky Way galaxy using data gathered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
  5. SETI@Home
    SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is a scientific area whose goal is to detect intelligent life outside Earth


  1. Radio JOVE
    The Radio JOVE project is a hands-on inquiry-based educational project that allows students, teachers and the general public to learn about radio astronomy by building their own radio telescope from an inexpensive kit and/or using remote radio telescopes through the internet

Misc & Cool Sites

  1. StackExchange Space Exploration
    A network of questions and answers around Space Exploration.
  2. SpaceHack
    A directory of ways to participate in space exploration.


  1. NASA Software Catalogue
    An extensive portfolio of software products for a wide variety of technical applications, with varying licenses ranging from Open Source to Government Only.
  2. Public Domain Aeronautical Software
    A list of Public Domain Aeronautical Softwares.
  • ISS Tracker
    An android app showing the actual position of the International Space Station (ISS), with also the astronauts inside it and the news
  • Jobs

    1. Career Center Space
      Online workshops and events with all the needed information to land a dream job in the space industry, plus access to top recruiters, amazing space jobs, and internships.
    2. Space Careers
      Listings of jobs and job applications in the space industry (worldwide)