Growing up in Russia, I had many kids books to read, but one of my favorites was a book on space, rockets and exploration. The book is called “Outer Space or Bust!” by Genadi Chernenko, its written in English and has some fantastic pencil illustrations. Its Soviet-centric since it came out of that time and area, but it talks about all major scientific breakthroughs from all nations, including US scientists and engineers like Robert Goddard. For US readers, its interesting to read non-US centric take on the space race and you’ll be surprised to learn about major figures in rocketry and engineering like Korolev and Tsiolkovsky. Russian rockets were very advanced and reliable, and many designs from 50s and 60s are still used today to get payload into orbit
I’ve had this book since I was 7 or 8 and its always been lying on my bookshelf. I’ve now scanned every page of this book and converted it to PDF (could not find a copy anywhere on the Internet). Now everyone else can get the pleasure of reading about space, rocketry and exploration. The book was published by Raduga (Rainbow) publishers in now defunct USSR.
Books like this inspired countless of kids to go into science and engineering, and the product of this is Pluto flybys and Mars landings, and in the future, Mars colonization.
Some illustrations from the book.
Visions of the future