United Kingdom
United States
World English
Go to Usborne.com

The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook

How to buy this book


Kindle eBook

Apple iBook

Google Play

Buy this book at Usborne.com


Visit the websites below to find out more about Tim Peake, the first British astronaut to join the International Space Station.

For a sneak peek of The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook, read a free condensed version, The Mini Astronaut’s Handbookavailable online or as an ebook.

Both books include a foreword by Tim Peake and exclusive insights from both the UK Space Agency and The European Space Agency.

Websites to visit

Click on the links to find out about Tim Peake and his mission to the ISS or scroll down to find out more about life as an astronaut - and how to be one!

Tim Peake and the Principia mission

Life as an astronaut

Astronauts in training


Internet safety

Children, make sure you follow these three simple rules when using the internet:

  1. Always ask an adult's permission before using the internet.
  2. Never give out personal information, such as your name, address, school or telephone number.
  3. If a website asks you to type in your name or email address, check with an adult first.

For more tips, see Internet safety for children.

Adults - we recommend that children are supervised while on the internet. The content of a website may change at any time and Usborne Publishing is not responsible for content on sites other than its own.

For more on internet safety, see Internet advice for adults.

Using a tablet or smartphone?

Websites with interactive content may not work on your tablet or smartphone, but you can view them on a computer. Find out more…

About this book

The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook

  • A funny and fascinating how-to guide for budding astronauts, providing a crash course on what it takes to travel into space.
  • Answers all the big questions about space travel, from “How do rockets work?” and “What do astronauts do all day?” to “How do you go to the toilet on a spaceship?”
  • Explores the technology that astronauts use, from space suits to Soyuz spacecraft, and scientific experiments on the International Space Station, and includes internet links to recommended websites to find out more.
  • With a personal message by the British European Space Agency astronaut, Tim Peake, who spent six months on the International Space Station in 2016, and exclusive insights from the UK Space Agency and ESA who have provided expert advice on this book.
“A fun, fact-packed and practical guide to launching your interstellar career!”
“A fascinating guide for budding astronauts.”
The Guardian
“A perfect fact book for budding space explorers.”
The Daily Telegraph

Press Reviews

A superb book all about how to become an astronaut... There’s a lot of humour in it, and it’s full of those little details that just make a book special.
Judges comments, Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2016
This brilliant guide will tell you everything you need to know about becoming an astronaut and explains what life is like for space explorers. From training tips to spacewalk hints, it’s packed with real-life astronaut knowledge!
National Geographic Kids
Children who fancy a career as an astronaut... will love The Usborne Official Astronaut’s Handbook, which gives you the lowdown on qualifications, the horrors of G-force and how to go to the loo in the International Space Station (into a kind of vacuum cleaner, apparently). It’s full of good practical stuff.
The Spectator
With a forward by the British Astronaut, Tim Peake this is perfect for little stargazers... Inspirational and entertaining.
South Wales Evening Post
Full of tips from real-life astronauts on how to steer a rocket or spacewalk. A perfect fact book for budding space explorers.
The Daily Telegraph
This is utterly essential reading for any would-be astronaut, featuring tons and tons of facts and figures all about space and the people who work, explore and experiment there.
Read it Daddy
The essential book for would-be astronauts.
Books for Keeps
For those dreaming of the stars above our heads, then The Official Astronaut’s Handbook will make them seem that bit closer. This is the essential book for would-be astronauts, telling you everything you need to know about how to become an astronaut, and what it’s like to live and work in space.
Books for Keeps
A great non-fiction book, full of information for all space lovers. The children found it fun to read as well as educational due to the illustrations and funny comments. It would certainly appeal and inspire children.
Practical Preschool and Primary Teacher Update
This book should go to the top of any must-have list for young children interested in space travel. It’s packed with fascinating information on everything from what to study to help you become an astronaut, to the special training astronauts undergo, rocket science and how shuttles get into space, and what it’s like to live on the International Space Station. After all, the children reading this book could become fully fledged astronauts in the 2030s. Inspiring stuff!
An engaging read which will reward repeated reading and enkindle awe for man's greatest achievement, reaching for the stars.
Given that it costs about £300 million per ISS mission, we reckon £6.99 is a highly cost-effective way of learning how to train for, get to and live in space for kids – without actually going there.
Mostly Books

Help with links

Problem with a link?

Websites do occasionally experience problems. If a link isn't working we recommend leaving it a while and trying again. If the site is still down the following day please report the problem using our contact form. We will fix the problem as soon as possible, or find an alternative link.

Can't see any links?

If this is the first time you have used Usborne Quicklinks and you can't see ANY links, you may need to adjust your web browser settings. To find out how to do this, see Help & Advice.

Missing link?

The links in Usborne Quicklinks may vary slightly from those described in your book because when a website closes down, or we find a better site, we update the links in Quicklinks. (If we remove any of your favourite sites let us know!)

PDF links

To view and print out files in .pdf format, you need the free Adobe Reader software. Download Adobe Reader.

Sound files

Sound files should play on a computer, tablet or smartphone. If you have difficulty, make sure you have the most up-to-date version of your web browser, or on a desktop computer, download the latest version of Adobe Flash Player (see Technical help).

Midi files

To hear midi files, you need a free program such as Windows Media Player, Real Player or Quicktime. Make sure your speakers are switched on! For more about these programs, see Technical help.

© Copyright 2020 Usborne Publishing. Web design & Development by Semantic