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Collecting books on rockets & spaceflight


NASA engineer Michael Ciancone collects books on rockets and spaceflight

Michael Ciancone’s day job is working as a NASA engineer. He serves as the safety and mission assurance lead on the European Service Module of the Orion Program, which is designed to take astronauts to the Moon and bring them home again.

In his spare time, he collects books about rockets and spaceflight. Michael’s collection spans more than 600 books about rocket development and spaceflight published prior to 1958 – that’s books published before the Russians put their first sputnik satellite into space.

Michael has also written a bibliography that encapsulates his knowledge of this area. It’s called Foreword to Spaceflight: An Illustrated Bibliography of pre-1958 Publications on Rocketry and Space Travel, and a selection of pictures from the book can be seen below.

We talk to Michael in our latest podcast about his collection, the challenges of collecting such a specialist subject, the book that started it all and the importance of Russian writers.

Michael’s bibliography is based upon his extensive collection
The cover artwork for early books on rockets and spaceflight is eye-catching
Michael’s collection includes books from German and Russian authors
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