Astronauts! They’re just like us! Except not, because they’ve been to space. Of the billions of members of Homo sapiens that have lived and died, only a few hundred have had the privilege of leaving the planet (five hundred and sixty three, to date). To the rest of us stuck here, that experience can seem esoteric—maybe even a little bit magic. Thankfully, books exist, and through them, we can get a taste of what it’s like to cross the Kármán line. Whether you’re writing a story of an astronautical nature or you just want to take yourself off-world from the comfort of your couch, these are some of the things I reach for first when I want to stick my head in the sky.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.