I was thoroughly unimpressed by Time Magazine’s “Mission to Mars” special issue, which I previously reviewed here. But I wanted to give Time another chance, so I ordered their “A Year in Space” special edition from earlier in the year.
Not perfect, but much better than the Mars thing.
The writers provide a fairly decent overview of Scott Kelly’s year in space mission. They go into some detail about a few key science objectives… but you can find that sort of information basically anywhere. In that respect, this magazine is no better or worse than reading Space.com.
What’s far more interesting are all the little anecdotes about daily life aboard the International Space Station. There were plenty of little details I’d never heard about before. In a few cases, I got answers to questions I’d never thought to ask.
My personal favorite was a photograph of the space station’s kitchen counter (page 34). It has magnets attached to it, because how else are you going to keep your silverware from floating away? And for everything that’s not metal, the kitchen counter also has Velcro. Again, this is a very small detail, but it’s something I never knew and never even thought about before.
We also get a little insight into the psychology of an astronaut, with little quotes and stories from Scott Kelly, his twin brother Mark Kelly, and a few others who’ve either been to the ISS or served in other space missions.
It’s not much. It’s nothing super deep or profound. But it does help humanize space exploration just a bit. You don’t get them from most books or articles about space, or at least I don’t. For that reason alone, I’d say this magazine is worth a read.