Free Science and Education Books

Today’s archive-find involves free science and space books available, complete with quality illustrations. These space education books provide a really interesting approach to how spaceships really work…BUT….some are from a Russian point of view.   Interestingly enough, these books were written by Russian authors (THE POSTED VERSIONS ARE IN ENGLISH) and provide really great pictures to accompany each topic.

The first book is called A Spaceship In Orbit by Yu.V. Kolesnikov and Yu. N. Glazkov. This book was written in 1984 but still holds some really great information and is something I consider a true yard sale find (you know, the feeling you get when you find a really awesome book in a yard sale that YOU MUST HAVE). I always take a look at the contributor of the book and found a trove of science textbooks, some which would appeal to school-age children and others at the graduate level. A similar book is The Space Age, by Yuri Shkolenko (1987).

I found another classic gem written in 1956 which discusses rockets and missiles called Rockets & Space Travel by Maurice F. Allward & John W. R. Taylor. This book has a ton of photos of pre-Mercury era missiles and rockets used by the military around the world at the time.

Here’s a space book YOU HAVE TO GET. This is an old school book filled with pictures called Worlds in Space, written by Martin Caidin (1954). Caidin is also the author of the well-known novels Marooned (made into a movie starring Gene Hackman) and Cyborg (turned into The Six Million Dollar Man for TV in the 1970’s).

Here’s a great Space Travel magazine from the late 1950s that contain numerous articles about the speculative future. We all hoped that space travel would be common-place in the future when we were kids. For now, it’s still in our imaginations.

Looking at these old books takes me back to a much simpler time, a time where the future held unlimited possibilities.

Science fiction presented so many opportunities to mentally escape to the future. Here’s another really great imagination inspiring book from 1979, The Usborne Book of the Future. The pictures in this book are extremely vivid with some really great ideas on living and working in space (the moon base plan looks really cool). Interestingly enough, one of the the original authors of this book left a review on the website (David Jefferis):

“Reviewer: Starcruzer – favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite – January 18, 2015 Subject: A crystal ball look at the worlds of today and tomorrow.

Great to see this very first book of mine here at the IA. Usborne let it go out of print many years ago, but I’ve had a soft spot for it, as well as being a warm reminder of my sadly late co-author, Kenneth W. Gatland. I will award 5 stars in Ken’s memory. I still make science and futures books, at if you would like to visit. David J.”

I’ll say again that this is really great artwork and a very fond memory of how we optimistically viewed the future from years past.

If you remember Usborne, these educational books were known for their colorful illustrations and simplified explanations of relevant topics. Here’s a list of them on you can check out here.

Also, a colorful book about Jupiter:

and don’t forget everyone’s favorite:








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