Penguin Random House imprint Century is to publish two new books from astronaut Tim Peake and The European Space Agency this autumn.
The books follow on from the bestselling publications Ask an Astronaut and Hello, is this planet Earth? which have sold 135,020 and 320,026 copies respectively, according ot Nielsen BookScan.
Ben Brusey, publishing director of Century, acquired world rights from Tim Peake and ESA via Rosita Suenson and Emmet Fletcher at ESA.
Part puzzle book, part guide, The Astronaut Selection Test Book: Do You Have What it Takes? invites readers of all ages to attempt the European Space Agency’s rigorous astronaut selection and training program. The book comprises 100 real astronaut tests and training exercises for readers to try, and outlines the full ESA selection process for the first time.
"Fascinating, surprising, and ranging in difficulty from easy to fiendishly hard, the tests include visual memory and perception puzzles, concentration tests, maths and mental arithmetic problems, psychological quizzes, teamwork and leadership exercises, survival skills, physical and medical exams, foreign language aptitude tests (ESA astronauts must learn Russian) and more", said the publisher.
The book, which will be "richly illustrated", draws on Peake's first-hand experiences of applying to ESA to be an astronaut in 2008, when he was selected with just five others from over 8000 applications. A wide range of ESA astronaut trainers have also contributed to the book. A competition will accompany publication, with details to be announced later this summer.
Peake said: "Astronaut selection was one of the hardest challenges I have had to overcome, but the reward was one of the most exciting, life-changing experiences imaginable. This book invites you test yourself against one of the world's toughest selection processes and to discover what it really takes to become an astronaut today. Have fun and good luck."
Meanwhile, Columbus in Space: Europe’s Voyage of Discovery on the International Space Station is the "inside story" of Europe's most advanced space laboratory, "stunningly illustrated" with colourful infographics and photographs.
In 2008, Europe’s first space laboratory was launched to the International Space Station. Ten years later, the Columbus lab is still circling 400 kilometres above our heads at 28,000 km/h, providing scientists a place to run out-of-this-world experiments.
The book recounts the story of the Columbus laboratory from conception to mission, and reveals everything – from the daily maintenance to the cutting-edge science – that takes place inside. Written by ESA editor Julien Harrod, with illustrations by Attilio Brancaccio, it includes interviews with a wide range of engineers and astronauts who have worked on the laboratory. The book concludes a year of 10th anniversary celebrations of Columbus.
Brusey added: "We’re thrilled to be partnering with Tim and the European Space Agency once more on these two terrific projects. The Astronaut Selection Test Book will delight puzzle book readers this Christmas and aspiring/armchair astronauts of all ages. Columbus in Space beautifully demonstrates what aspiring astronauts can expect to do once they get the job."
Peake and the European Space Agency will not be receiving any royalties from the sale of these books. Instead, an equivalent sum will be donated on their behalf to the Prince's Trust.
The Astronaut Selection Test Book: Do You Have What it Takes? by Peake and The European Space Agency, will be published in hardback and e-book on 4th October, while Columbus in Space: Europe’s Voyage of Discovery on the International Space Station by The European Space Agency will be published in paperback and e-book on 6th September.