Andrew Chaikin: Author, Speaker, Space Historian
Award-winning science journalist and space historian Andrew Chaikin has authored books and articles about space exploration and astronomy for more than three decades. Writer-director and explorer James Cameron (Titanic, Aliens of the Deep) called him “our best historian of the space age.”
Chaikin 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 (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 books, co-written with Victoria Kohl, 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 young readers illustrated with paintings by Apollo moonwalker Alan Bean. Both were published in May 2009.
A Passion for Mars was published in September 2008 by Abrams. Apollo 11 astronaut 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.”
Chaikin 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 illustrated narrative of space exploration, SPACE: A History of Space Exploration in Photographs, was published in 2002 by Carlton Books. He co-authored the text for the highly successful collection of Apollo photography, Full Moon, which was published by Knopf in 1999.
Chaikin collaborated with moonwalker-turned-artist Alan Bean to write Apollo: An Eyewitness Account, published in 1998 by the Greenwich Workshop Press. He also 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.
From 1999 to 2001 Chaikin served as Executive Editor for Space and Science at SPACE.com, the definitive website for all things space. He was also the editor of SPACE.com’s print magazine, Space Illustrated.
Chaikin is a commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, and has appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, and the NPR programs Fresh Air and Talk of the Nation. He has been an advisor to NASA on space policy and public communications.
A former editor of Sky & Telescope magazine, Chaikin has also been a contributing editor of Popular Science and has written for Newsweek, Air&Space/Smithsonian, World Book Encyclopedia, Scientific American, and other publications.
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.