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The Astronaut's Guide to Leaving the Planet

Everything You Need to Know, from Training to Re-entry

By Terry Virts

In this exciting book, a former NASA astronaut inspires the next generation of space travelers with answers to all kids' questions on how people become astronauts, how they prepare for space travel, and what it's like to live and work in space.

A kid's guide to leaving the planet from someone who's done it! Former astronaut Terry Virts guides readers through the practical elements of becoming an astronaut, along with the wonders (and challenges!) of space travel. With insider information on training, piloting a ship, and working in space, readers and aspiring astronauts will be inspired to start their own journey to the stars. This practical guide is full of valuable wisdom and insight that will guide the astronaut candidates of tomorrow!

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Meet the Author
Terry Virts headshot

Terry Virts

More about the author
Review quotes
"With an eye to younger audiences with stars in their eyes, he describes space programs of the past and near future in clear, simple language and embeds pep talks about the importance of getting a good education and ignoring nay-sayers…. Finally, an astro-memoir for kids that really gets down to the nitty-gritty."
— Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A fun, fact-filled reflection of space-bound adventure."
— Booklist, starred review
"Paints a vibrant picture of life aboard the International Space Station…. Young space enthusiasts will enjoy this guide. Aspiring astronauts will treasure it."
— TIME for Kids
Author Terry Virts "engages readers with more than a smattering of history, science, and pure delight."
— Upstate Parent
"The Astronaut’s Guide to Leaving the Planet is exactly the sort of book kids who love space will fall in love with…. an informative read that should appeal to space fanatics young and old."
— Cracking the Cover
Product Details
Age range
10 - 99
Grade range
5 - 17
Number of pages
Publication date
April 11, 2023