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Beyond the Known: How Exploration Created the Modern World and Will Take Us to the Stars

November 11, 2019

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"From brilliant young polymath Andrew Rader—an MIT-credentialed scientist, popular podcast host, and SpaceX mission manager—an illuminating chronicle of exploration that spotlights humans’ insatiable desire to continually push into new and uncharted territory, from civilization’s earliest days to current planning for interstellar travel."


A Mission Manager at SpaceX, Andrew Rader is at the forefront of space exploration. In Beyond the Known: How Exploration Created the Modern World and Will Take Us to the Stars (Scribner, November 12, 2019), Rader argues that exploration is in our genes. Long after everyone else in human history is forgotten, it will be the explorers who earn a measure of immortality. Examining mankind’s adventurous forays from classical times to the Age of Exploration to the modern era of scientific inquiry, Rader traces a path into the future that’s very much in line with our past. Beginning with proto-humans, Beyond the Known introduces us to Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Polynesians, Turks, and the barbarians of the steppes, then sweeps us around the world explaining how major strides in exploration were achieved. Rader goes on to argue that most of the story of exploration still lies ahead of us: in space.

Told in accessible terms and with infectious excitement—and rife with fascinating trivia—Beyond the Known is a captivating look at how we got here, and a compelling glimpse of our potential future.



Andrew Rader is a mission manager at SpaceX leading one of the most complex space missions on Earth, launching 24 satellites on the world’s most powerful rocket, Falcon Heavy. With a PhD from MIT in long duration spaceflight, he’s an expert in the field of space exploration who’s authored more than a dozen technical papers and been featured in Slate, Motherboard, Vice, The Verge, Gizmodo,, and The New York Times. As winner of the Discovery Channel's #1 competitive television series north of the border, Canada's Greatest Know-it-All, he’s something of a hometown hero who’s been interviewed by dozens of Canadian media outlets.

Andrew has authored the children’s books Rocket Science, Epic Space Adventure, Mars Rover Rescue, and i and the non-fiction title Leaving Earth: Why One-Way to Mars Makes Sense. A devoted science and history communicator, he maintains a following numbering in the millions across his science, history, and personal Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. He’s also a tabletop game designer (with several popular history, science, and political games under his belt) and trivia aficionado whose team has twice taken home the $10,000 grand prize at North America’s largest live trivia contest (World Trivia Night).

In addition to his many other activities, Andrew co-hosts the weekly podcast Spellbound along with YouTube celebrity Julian Smith, covering topics from science to economics to history and psychology. Andrew also maintains his own YouTube channel, where he’s amassed more than eight million views on over a hundred videos including comedic selections like Cooking on Mars and Who Wants to be a Mega Trillionaire?, and educational videos such as Getting to Another Star, How to Stop an Asteroid, and excerpts from a popular spacecraft engineering course Andrew taught at MIT.


This giveaway is being brought to you by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.


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