Not Necessarily Rocket Science: A Beginner’s Guide to Life in the Space Age by Kellie Gerardi

Humanity is on an astronomical trajectory and according to aerospace professional and popular science communicator Kellie Gerardi, that future doesn’t rest solely on the shoulders of rocket scientists. Gerardi’s non-traditional path in the space industry shows us that humanity’s next giant leap will require the contributions of artists, engineers, and everyone in between. Gerardi takes us on a tour of this unique window in history and offers encouragement and advice for anyone who has ever dreamed of the stars and galaxies far, far away.

Ever wondered what it might be like to work in the space industry? In this candid guide, Gerardi offers an inside look into the commercial spaceflight industry and all those working to tee up a golden age of spaceflight, redefining the “right stuff” along the way. Whether you have a space background or are just looking to learn about the exciting future that awaits us, Not Necessarily Rocket Science confirms that there’s a place for anyone who is passionate about space exploration.Ready to contribute to humanity’s next giant leap? With a mission to democratise access to space and expand humanity’s footprint in the solar system, Kellie offers a front-row seat to the final frontier. From her adventures working at a spaceport, training for Mars, testing spacesuits in microgravity, and building a massive SciComm platform, this unique handbook provides inspiration and guidance for aspiring astronauts everywhere to make the most of life in the Space Age.

I got this book recommended to me and I found it on Scribd* so decided to give it a go. Kellie Gerardi works in the Commercial Space sector but doesn’t have any of the usual background qualifications in aerospace engineering, rocket science or astrophysics. Despite this she pushed her way into the industry and became very successful as a space and science communicator as well as getting a lot of experiences she wouldn’t otherwise have gotten (like flying a series of microgravity research flights to help test a space suit). I thought it would be interesting to read about someone working in the space industry who came from a non typical background. 

Gerardi breaks downs the timeline of space travel really well right from the Apollo era to now. It is done in a really basic way so you can understand the content but also have grounds to explore more if you so wish. I have a decent knowledge of NASA up to around 2011, when the space shuttle era ended but I will admit at the time of reading this book, I knew little to nothing about the commercial space industry except that SpaceX were launching rockets…

This book serves as an overview of the industry as well as a memoir of sorts and a guide as to how to break into the industry in a non traditional way. I enjoyed learning about Gerardi’s journey (though some of it was definitely luck and privilege) and more about the commercial space industry as a whole. I felt parts of it were a bit disjointed as the tips as to how to break into the industry were interspersed in relevant chapters, whereas I think it might have flowed better if there were a solid chapter or two at the end with all the advice and tips. I did struggle with bits of it but I think overall it was a good read and a nice change from reading an astronaut memoir. 


Rating: 3 out of 5.

*If you would like a 60 day free trial of Scribd, you can use my link. In the interest of transparency, I earn a free month if you use this.

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