I have a master degree in Electrical Engineering specialized in RF.

I would like - as a "hobby" in my free time - to get a deeper technical knowledge on what concerns physics in space and the math involved in space exploration. I of course know already basic kinetics and statics, but seeing the same concepts applied to this new field would also be interesting.

Any recommendation for good and clear books that could fit well in my background and for my interests?

EDIT In general, just to clarify, I would like to know whatever knowledge is needed for space travel. How laws of physics are used to enable space travel, manned and unmanned (like the ISS). The material should be technical, adeguate for people with a technical background, but somehow new to this topic.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Would Space Exploration be a better home for this question? $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic
    Commented Dec 31, 2023 at 18:35
  • $\begingroup$ Do you want to learn about orbital mechanics and techniques used in missions like GRAIL? $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Commented Dec 31, 2023 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ Despite it being a game and not a book, the most fun way to get a surprisingly good handle on orbital mechanics fundamentals and space exploration physics, is Kerbal Space Program (1). The physics engine is simplified (patched conics physics rather than true n-body physics), but I feel this is a fine cutoff point because going any further than something like Lagrange points is where a "hobby" becomes a "serious hobby". For refrence: xkcd.com/1356 $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Commented Jan 1 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Dragongeek I know the game, but I'm more like looking for some study material, math and explanations $\endgroup$
    – Tripola
    Commented Jan 1 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ @PM2Ring I would say that's part of my interest. In general, I would like to know whatever is considered for space travel. Adeguate for people with a technical background, but somehow new to this topic. $\endgroup$
    – Tripola
    Commented Jan 1 at 20:30

2 Answers 2


Your first stop should be the reference area of this site!

One of the links there is the NASA Basics of Space Flight page.


Ok, so I am confused as to whether you are interested in fiction or nonfiction. So I will send you some fiction books first: The "Ringworld" series by Larry niven, "The Martian" by Andy Weir, "Journey to Alpha Centauri" by Michael O'Brien, "Rendezvous with Rama" by Arthur C. Clark, and my favorite: "The Foundation" series by Isaac Azimov.

As for straight non-fiction titles revolving around near future space technology...I recommend listening to the YouTuber named Isaac Arthur, and treat him like an audiobook. He has an incredible backlog of content that stretches from what we could see in the next ten years, to the next ten trillion years and everything in-between. He is also very good at leaving sources in his descriptions for you to transition to whenever you want to take a deeper dive.

I'm not sure if this was the kind of answer you were looking for, but I hope it helps regardless.


  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I added an edit to my post to clarify. Maybe with that, you can also suggest further material, in case you have something that fits better. $\endgroup$
    – Tripola
    Commented Jan 1 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ Since the questions is around space flight facts it would be good to mention that while your list of classic authors wrote good stuff much of their hard science has softened with time and would now need to be read alongside an annotations list of 'facts' that have changed or been fine tuned. 'The Martian' while not yet aged has the opening dust storm which for plot reasons is a long way from reality. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 1 at 23:15

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