Dallas Campbell: How To Leave The Planet
Credit: ESA/Thomas Pesquet

Dallas Campbell: How To Leave The Planet

27/06/2018Written by Jamie Laughton

Dallas Campbell shares the 'right stuff' needed to leave the planet in his book Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guided to Leaving the Planet

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Space Lates with Dallas Campbell

Credit: Dallas Campbell

Credit: Dallas Campbell

Have you ever wondered what it takes to leave planet Earth? If you like your space exploration stories quirky, inspiring, and sometimes downright whacky, then look no further than Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Planet, by science broadcaster Dallas Campbell.

Dallas Campbell has presented some of the most ambitious landmark series across the BBC, such as City in the Sky with Dr Hannah Fry and Stargazing Live with Dara O’Brian and Brian Cox, which included broadcasting Astronaut Tim Peake’s historic live launch to the International Space Station and was nominated for a BAFTA.

We were delighted to host Dallas as a guest speaker for our June Space Lates on 30 June 2018, in celebration of Asteroid Day.

If you missed him, then check out this special guest blog of Ad Astra by Dallas himself:

Credit: ESA/Thomas Pesquet

How to leave the planet by Dallas Campbell:

How to leave the planet by Dallas Campbell:
How to leave the planet by Dallas Campbell:
Credit: Ad Astra by Dallas Campbell

For almost all human history we’ve been firmly rooted to the Earth. And, sure, it’s got some good things going for it – nice views, friendly inhabitants, good coffee. Air. But what if you want to get off? It’s an idea we’ve been grappling with for as long as human’s have looked up at the skies in wonder.

Whether you’ve got itchy feet and need a bit of a break, or you’re looking for a complete change of scene, Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Planet has all the information you’ll need to leave, with FREE expert advice from the men and woman who can actually make it happen. Do I need a passport? How do I know if I have the right stuff? Can I take my dog? What spacesuit do I need? Where am I going to go? What am I going to eat? Can I get abducted by aliens?

Do I have the right stuff?

The reality of space travel has meant that astronauts have some pretty clearly defined qualities and characteristics. At some point you’ve probably wondered about whether you have this ‘right stuff’ – ‘that indefinable, unutterable integral stuff’. Since the early days of the space race, the selection requirements for astronauts have broadened considerably, but it still requires a special type of person. Most space agencies look for a stringent checklist of experiences and physical abilities (see left) in their astronauts before even beginning the training.

As well as being a deeply impractical guide to getting off the planet, Ad Astra is a holistic mix-tape of space stories – both real and imagined. From the migrating lunar geese dreamed up by Bishop Frances Godwin that flew us to the moon in the 1600’s, to Elon Musk’s wild plan to get humans to Mars en masse in the future; from the history of early rocket science to the Soviet tortoises that secretly won the space race.

A collection of stories, science, history and ephemera for anyone who has looked up in wonder at the stars. And then wondered how to get there.

For more space tales, check out Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Planet by Dallas Campbell.