Space Age Adventures


Space Age Adventures

Over 100 Terrestrial Sites and Out of This World Stories

Mike Bezemek

320 pages
88 illustrations, appendix


June 2023


$27.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

June 2023


$27.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

June 2023


$27.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

When people think about space travel, they usually look skyward. But much of spaceflight history happened down here on Earth. Space Age Adventures presents more than one hundred terrestrial sites across the United States related to space exploration, where enthusiasts can have their own space age adventures.

Before astronauts walked on the Moon, they trained at locations you can visit today—from NASA space centers and telescope observatories to impact craters and atomic testing grounds. Inside vast museum hangars, a visitor can walk beneath towering Saturn V rockets left over from the Apollo program or peer inside American and Soviet capsules. Elsewhere visitors can visit historic rocket pads, retired space shuttles, landed SpaceX boosters, and even watch scheduled launches.

Mike Bezemek brings the artifacts and spacecraft to life with interwoven true stories that collectively span the entire Space Age. These stories offer a deeper understanding of the adventures behind the famous images. The combination of terrestrial sites and true stories makes this book the perfect guide for having unique adventures and discovering one of the most dramatic eras in human exploration.

Author Bio

Mike Bezemek is the author and photographer of three books that combine stories with trip guides, including Paddling the John Wesley Powell Route: Exploring the Green and Colorado Rivers and Discovering the Outlaw Trail: Routes, Hideouts, and Stories from the Wild West. He has written for a variety of publications, including Outside, Men’s Journal, National Parks Magazine, Adventure Cyclist, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Duct Tape Diaries, and Terrain Magazine. Visit his website at


“Part travel guidebook and part history lesson, anyone with even a passing interest in space will appreciate this resource. Mike Bezemek has created a long-needed and well-organized reference for planning trips to space-themed destinations in the United States. I had no idea all these places existed and appreciate how the included stories reference artifacts or displays that can be visited in person. Well done!”—Jay Gallentine, author of Infinity Beckoned: Adventuring through the Inner Solar System, 1969–1989

“Mike Bezemek shows that the next best thing to a flight into space is visiting the many places on Earth related to space exploration. In addition to sharing the exciting stories behind the museum artifacts, Space Age Adventures takes readers to launch sites, astronomical observatories, and space museums around the United States. His work has provided me with lots of new ideas for space places to visit in the years to come.”—Chris Gainor, author of To a Distant Day: The Rocket Pioneers

Table of Contents

Preface: Spaces Sites and Stories
Becoming a Space Age Adventurer
Using This Book and Must-See Sites
1. The First Rockets
2. Birth of the Space Rocket
3. The V-2
Sites in Washington DC and Virginia
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC
Smithsonian Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly VA
NASA Goddard Visitor Center, Greenbelt MD
NASA Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center, Wallops Island VA
Virginia Air and Space Science Center, Hampton VA
4. The Cold War
5. Conquering Space
6. The Satellites
Sites in New York City and the Northeast
Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York NY
American Museum of Natural History, New York NY
Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City NY
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord NH
Moonshot Museum, Pittsburgh PA
Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh PA
7. The Space Race
8. Mercury vs. Vostok
9. In the Thick of It
Sites Near Cape Canaveral, Florida
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Merritt Island FL
Sands Space History Center, Cape Canaveral FL
American Space Museum, Titusville FL
10. The Rise of Apollo
11. Adventures and Lessons
12. A Focus on the Moon
Sites in the South and on the Gulf Coast
Museum of Life and Science, Durham NC
Tellus Science Museum, Cartersville GA
U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville AL
National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola FL
Infinity Science Center and NASA Stennis Visitor Center, Pearlington MS
Space Center Houston, Houston TX
Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas TX
SpaceX Starbase Launch Viewing, South Padre Island TX
13. Bold Steps and Tragic Setbacks
14. Closing In
15. Around the Moon
Sites in the Midwest
Great Lakes Science Center and NASA Glenn Visitor Center, Cleveland OH
International Women’s Air and Space Museum, Cleveland OH
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Dayton OH
Armstrong Air & Space Museum, Wapakoneta OH
Grissom Memorial at Spring Mill State Park, Mitchell IN
Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Experience, Kalamazoo MI
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago IL
Adler Planetarium, Chicago IL
St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis MO
16. 1969
17. They Came from Outer Space
18. The Landings Continue
Sites in the Great Plains
Stafford Air and Space Museum, Weatherford OK
Science Museum Oklahoma, Oklahoma City OK
Cosmosphere Space Museum, Hutchison KS
Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, Ashland NE
South Dakota Air and Space Museum, Box Elder SD
19. The End of the Space Race
20. Aiming for the Stars
21. The Soviets Regroup
Sites in the Southwest
New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo NM
White Sands Missile Range Museum and Missile Park, White Sands NM
Spaceport America, Truth or Consequences NM
Roswell Museum and International UFO Museum & Research Center, Roswell NM 000
Very Large Array, Socorro NM
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque NM
National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, Albuquerque NM
Space Foundation Discovery Center, Colorado Springs CO
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, Denver CO
Space and Science Fiction Sites, Southern Utah
Meteor Crater, Winslow AZ
Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff AZ
Astronaut Training Sites, Northern Arizona
Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson AZ
Titan Missile Museum, Green Valley AZ
National Atomic Testing Museum and Nevada National Security Site, Las Vegas NV000
Extraterrestrial Highway, Highway 375 NV
22. Adventures in Orbit
23. Destination Deep Space
24. The Billionaires’ Space Race
Sites on the West Coast
San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego CA
California Science Center, Los Angeles CA
Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles CA
More Space Sites, Southern California
Science Fiction Film Sites, California
Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland CA
USS Hornet Sea, Air, and Space Museum, Alameda CA
Aerospace Museum of California, Sacramento CA
Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, McMinnville OR
Museum of Flight, Seattle WA
Appendix of Resources

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