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Meet: Andrew Chaikin

photo of andrew in from of moon picture, playing the guitar

Science Journalist and Space Historian

Award-winning science journalist and space historian Andrew Chaikin has authored books and articles about space exploration and astronomy for more than 25 years.  Writer-director and explorer James Cameron (Titanic, Aliens of the Deep) called him “our best historian of the space age.”

photo of book He is best known as the author of A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts, widely regarded as the definitive account of the moon missions. First published in 1994, this acclaimed work was the main basis for Tom Hanks' 12-part HBO miniseries, From the Earth to the Moon, which won the Emmy for best miniseries in 1998.  Chaikin spent eight years writing and researching A Man on the Moon, including over 150 hours of personal interviews with 23 of the 24 lunar astronauts, including Neil Armstrong (Apollo 13’s Jack Swigert was already deceased).  Apollo moonwalker Gene Cernan said of the book, "I've been there.  Chaikin took me back." A new edition of the book, with a new afterword for the 50th anniversary of the space age, was published by Penguin in 2007.

Chaikin's newest book is A Passion for Mars, published in October 2008 by Abrams. Apollo 11 photo of bookastronaut and author Michael Collins called it a “masterpiece of a book,” and Rocket Boys author Homer Hickam said, “I am completely and utterly in love with this book, which comes just as we need it the most.” A Passion for Mars has been featured on CSPAN Book TV, and was excerpted in Air and Space/Smithsonian magazine.

Upcoming works to be published in Spring 2009 are Voices from the Moon (Viking Studio) featuring excerpts from his conversations with Apollo astronauts, and Mission Control, This is Apollo (Viking Childrens) a book for middle-school readers illustrated with paintings by Apollo moonwalker Alan Bean.

He is also the author of Air and Space: The National Air and Space Museum Story of Flight, published in 1997 by Bulfinch Press. Chaikin’s narrative of space exploration, Space: A History of Space Exploration in Photographs, was published in 2002 by Carlton. He co-authored the text for the highly successful collection of Apollo photography, Full Moon, published by Knopf in 1999.  He collaborated with moonwalker-turned-artist Alan Bean to write Apollo: An Eyewitness Account, published in 1998 by the Greenwich Workshop Press. Chaikin co-edited The New Solar System, a compendium of writings by planetary scientists, now in its fourth edition. His essays include the chapter on human spaceflight in The National Geographic Encyclopedia of Space, published in 2004, and Live from the Moon: The Societal Impact of Apollo for NASA’s 2007 book The Societal Impact of Spaceflight.

Chaikin is a commentator for National Public Radio's Morning Edition, and is a frequent guest on CNNHe has appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, Charlie Rose, and the NPR programs Fresh Air and Talk of the Nation.  He has been an advisor to NASA on space policy and public communications. He is active as a lecturer in public and private venues, and frequently visits schools of all grade levels to talk about space-related topics.

A former editor of Sky & Telescope magazine, Chaikin has also been a contributing editor of Popular Science and has written for Wired, Newsweek, Air&Space/Smithsonian, World Book Encyclopedia, Scientific American, and other publications. From 1999 to 2001 Chaikin served as Executive Editor for Space and Science at SPACE.com, the essential website for all things space.  He was also the editor of SPACE.com's print magazine, Space Illustrated.

A graduate of Brown University, Chaikin served on the Viking missions to Mars at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and was a researcher at the Smithsonian's Center for Earth and Planetary Studies before becoming a science journalist in 1980. He is an amateur musician and songwriter; he has also been an occasional space artist, and is one of the founders of the International Association of Astronomical Artists.  


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