Most of us have never been to space. To date, of the more than 100 billion humans that have ever existed, fewer than 600 humans have ever left Earth. But the exploration of space is the most significant thing we will ever do as a species.
Sarah Cruddas has been looking to the skies her entire life. Her childhood was spent staring at the Moon and hearing stories of the space race, and she worked in a fruit factory to fund her love of the subject. Her subsequent career studying astrophysics, and becoming a television host and space journalist has seen her report on space exploration and chase launches across the world. In Look Up Sarah explains why she has always been a passionate advocate for why space should matter – to everyone.
From our ancestors who first painted patterns of the stars in caves, to the US and Soviet pioneers who first forged a path beyond our planet, Sarah Cruddas explores the stories and sacrifices that humankind has made to understand more about our place in the universe. And even today, when Moon walking and people in space suits seem less relevant to us than climate change and conflicts here on Earth, she shows how everything from medicine to mobile phones is affected by space technology, and how a new generation of entrepreneurs have kick-started a new story with the stars.
This is an inspirational and enlightening introduction to the importance of space to everyone, and why we should all learn to Look Up.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 2 members
Look Up by Sarah Cruddas is an excellent introduction into space exploration, orbiting the Earth in microgravity, trips to the Moon, the Artemis Mars program, robotic non-crewed missions to Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, Sun, and out into interstellar space as well as commercial and private exploration in partnership (such as the Axiom-1 launch of three private individuals to the ISS) and at times independent of NASA. For those who have read widely on this subject, or who follow NASA through its app and through other media, much of the contents will be a rehash and at times repetitive. Still, as with books that this reader has read on WWII, a subject that I have read wide and deep on, there is still knowledge to be gained from Look Up, even if it is nuggets no wider than the width of a strand of human hair. Look Up's primary focus, to inspire the common person to read and learn about space exploration, past, present and future, is met with her insightful style of writing that explains to readers why space exploration is important, both for improving life here on Earth and for exploration of other worlds for its own sake, in a way that is understandable to those whose backgrounds are not in astrophysics or similar fields.
For anyone who has a budding interest in NASA/the space age, or who wants to learn more about the progression of such endeavors, this will be a great book. Cruddas does an excellent job outlining humanity's earliest fascination with the stars and attempts to learn about the night sky above, the role of the night sky in earth-bound travel, and the path that space travel has taken over the last 60 years and where it is headed. And even if it's not a topic you're particularly interested in, Cruddas is able to bring much of it home to the average reader, explaining the myriad ways our lives have been impacted and improved via the technology floating above us and the products made in support of space flight. This book is a pretty quick and easy read and would likely be accessible for advanced children and teenagers on up.
Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.