The Astronaut Instruction Manual

A 68-page children's book by Mike Mongo
1,834 copies sold
135 readers made this book possible
66 Stakeholders
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Production Status
Marketer Nhit7uyv Avalon Marissa Radys
Production Editor Kim keller Kim Keller
Art Director 03787df Brett MacFadden
100% Complete
Jan 6, 2015
in bookstores:
Oct 13, 2015
Manuscript Delivered
Jan 7, 2015
Editing and Design Completed
Kim keller
Apr 7, 2015
Print Book Published
Oct 13, 2015
Some of the Bookstores Selling The Astronaut Instruction Manual
A book to inspire today’s students to prepare for their own careers in space.
  • Price: $8.99
  • Available: Now
  • Quantity:
  • Price: $12.99
  • Available: Now
After hitting the market last week, author Mike Mongo’s eBook sensation THE ASTRONAUT INSTRUCTION MANUAL has quickly found its way into the hands of top producers and is already generating stellar offers.
– The Tracking Board (Read full article )
An astronaut must be focused and prepared, but also dynamic and creative. The Astronaut Instruction Manual is a fantastic and vibrant preparatory guide for today's youth – whether their futures are off in space or right here at home on Earth.
– Lori Garver, former NASA Deputy Administrator and General Manager, Air Line Pilots Association
About The Astronaut Instruction Manual


Congressman Joe Garcia (D-FL) has backed The Astronaut Instruction Manual! WOWOW! Congressman Garcia is famous around our household as the sponsor of the STEM Innovations Networks Act. Thank you, Congressman Joe Garcia, for you support of STEM education and science!


Rockstar 4th grade teacher & He’s The Weird Teacher author Doug Robertson just wrote the most amazing blurb for the back cover of The Astronaut Instruction Manual. Doug is a lightning rod educator, empowering other superhero teachers around the world (and nightly on Twitter around hashtag #WeirdEd) by his validation of unorthodox-yet-wonderful-successful teaching methods-slash-and teachers. He is a maverick, a peer, and his students cherish him, and their parents praise him, and we are completely over the moon for Doug’s endorsement!


There is perhaps no more perfect case study individual for whom The Astronaut Instruction Manual is written than Alyssa "Blueberry" Carson. Alyssa started her dream of going to space when she was just 3 years old. She is now 13, and is well on her way towards making her dream of space a reality—including having completed 14 Space Camps , a TEDx Talk, and been recently interviewed by BBC News. Who better to write the forward for The A.I.M. than future Mars astronaut Alyssa Carson? We are thrilled to have Alyssa on board!


More #AWESOME: TED Fellow Dr Rachel Armstrong has delivered a powerful endorsement of The Astronaut Instruction Manual!


Mike Mongo’s The Astronaut Instruction Manual endorsed by best-selling ’Five Billion Years of Solitude’ author Lee Billings!

-Astronaut Instruction Manual -
“My name is Mike Mongo and
I’m an Astronaut Teacher.”

Since 2008, as an invited guest teacher, I have visited schools and classrooms all over the world to let today’s young students aware that tomorrow’s jobs—the best jobs ever!—are in space.

Astronaut teacher is pretty much the greatest job in the world. I travel, work with amazing people, and best of all meet with young students who love everything about space and science.

Many of these students already know exactly what they want to do when they grow up—go to outer space!—and have just been waiting for some person (i.e., an astronaut teacher) to tell them that which they’ve been longing to hear. Which is this:

"If today you are between the ages of 9 and 12, by the time you are out of college—around year 2025—you will have the opportunity to be among the first human beings who live, work, and play in space."

Everyday I share what I call the three magic questions:

  • How are you doing?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • Have you thought about doing that in space?

These three questions get students thinking of themselves-and-space as one idea. For instance, explain to kids who want to be professional athletes that they can do that in space, they go all gosh and wow right before your eyes.

And that is key. Allowing students the freedom to imagine themselves doing what they love in space is key. It all comes down to the simple fact that kids—like many, many of us grown-ups—want to get to space.

Our job, as grown-ups, is to provide them with the tools to make their dream of space become our future and their reality. Our job is to let them know their dream job can be working in space. Which is why I wrote The Astronaut Instruction Manual:


The Astronaut Instruction Manual (aka Mike Mongo’s
is an actual working astronaut instruction manual. It is created to let today’s space-loving young students who want to live, work, and play in space know that they genuinely do have that opportunity. Just by their being 9-to-12 years old at this moment in human history, today’s young students can be one of the Humannaires*, the next-generation of astronauts, by the time they are out of college.
*(BTW the name "Humannaires" is inspired by the legendary outlier team, "the Legionnaires".)

from The Astronaut Instruction Manual:
If you are not yet in high school,
the next few years are going to be the most important for you
if you plan on being one of the next kind of astronauts,
the Humannaires,
by the time you are in your twenties.

Like many of us,
you are planning on becoming a space-dwelling human being.
That makes you...a Humannaire!

and cosmonauts
and spationauts
and taikonauts
and gaganauts
paved the way for us.

Nauts were actually the first trailblazers to get off Planet Earth
and to go out into space.
In their time and even still today,
’nauts were unlike any other human alive.
’Naires are unlike even ’nauts.

We are the first humans to move out to space!

Advice That Stands
Even If You’re Staying onEarth

Besides letting today’s students know that tomorrow’s jobs are in space, the Manual shares real science and insights into what is expected from today’s students who want to one day live out in space. I have made a point of outlining exercises and practices of personal responsibility which will lead to developing skills necessary to becoming one of the next-generation of space explorers from Planet Earth.

Remember, tomorrow’s space work force will not be dependent on simply physical capacity, or good looks, or gender or race or religion or preference or nationality, or military service, or even academic success. Tomorrow’s space force qualifiers will be whether or not you can a student get the job done at least as well as their own peers!

You must know that The Astronaut Instruction Manual is not like other "tween" kids book. I believe the reason my quest to encourage kids to pursue careers in astronautics and space-science-related fields is so well received by my audience is because I challenge the thinking of young students. Young people appreciate this, and so do adults. Of course, any kind of astronaut instruction manual that did not challenge young students would have to be a fake. Students would know it. Grown-ups would know it. Importantly, the core message to young persons is one of focus, diligence, patience, and self belief.

from The Astronaut Instruction Manual
You are going to have to study with dedication
the school subjects you love best,
and to be well-studied even on subjects you love less.
And most importantly,
you are going to have to get your own mind ready for space
because YOU are going to live in outer space.
In other words,
to make you ready for living in space,
we are going to use tools of the mind.

The approach I take is direct: The very skills required to survive and thrive off-planet and in space are the same skills required to succeed Earth-side. Ironically, I think the lessons are solidly grounding as it is precisely this sort of foot-hold a young student will need in order to successfully "launch".

Plus, of course, GREAT ART:
Illustrations by
the internet’s most famous robot dinosaur, FAKEGRIMLOCK!

Books to inspire young minds must have engaging artwork. And a book to inspire young students to pursue careers in space especially so. The artwork must be fun, memorable, and it must connect!

To hold the attention of today’s 9-12 year old, you have got to make art that speaks to today’s 9-12 year olds.

Think sharks, ninjas, radiation, explosions, superpowers, lasers, volcanos, and, of course, giant super-powered, radiated, ninja-fied robot dinosaurs.

I am happy to report we will be using the fantastically engaging CC-licensed illustrations by the amazingly talented and most very famous artist thinker & giant super-powered robot dinosaur, FAKEGRIMLOCK!

As The Astronaut Instruction Manual is being published with a Creative Commons share-alike license, having FAKEGRIMLOCK’s illustrations amplify the book’s message increases both the Manual’s accessibility and reach.


Today’s students must be met on their own terms. Humankind is readying now for our next big venture to space. And The Astronaut Instruction Manual is the astronaut instruction manual that gets the job done!

Young students today have an opportunity unlike any that has come before. As young students ourselves, most of us grown-ups never had teachers tell us of a space future where we could live, work, an play in space.

It is time for that to change and to let kids know:
tomorrow’s jobs are in space and they can be astronauts. Or Humannaires!

By pointing the way to an inspiring space future, we can affect change in the world one reader at a time. Which is why I am asking you:

Please support The Astronaut Instruction Manual.

Thank you, and keep up the good work,

Mike Mongo
astronaut teacher

Read part of The Astronaut Instruction Manual
Chapter 3
a 2 minute read

Which lead us to our next subject,

Our life’s end does not have to be the end of us,
but it is the end of our turn. So, when and if we have to die,
make the end of your turn become the completion of an extraordinary life story.

Yet, if you can,
why not just keep on living?

If you can successfully avoid getting hit by a runaway helicopter,
or having an old satellite fall the sky and land on you
or any other unluckiness which today might otherwise lead to your demise,
and you keep doing so at least until the time that you are 20 years of age,
chances are you will live another 100 years...or more!

Such is the promise
of humankind's technological direction
at the very beginning of the 21st century.

Exactly how you will live another 100 years after age 20,
or what happens to make it so,
will be a surprise.

It wouldn't be called a surprise
if we knew precisely what amazing things were to happen
or exactly how such things were going to take place.

There is no telling what discoveries
and advancements will be made over the coming years!

Consider this.

Approximately one hundred years ago,
in the first decade of the 20th century,society was without telephones,
automobiles, light bulbs, airplanes, or even radios,
almost anywhere.

Most of the world had not even heard of electricity—
because at that time it took scientists and researchers
nearly three months time to communicate new ideas and discoveries
to the rest of the world.

Nonetheless—only ten years later— by 1920,
telephones, radios, light bulbs, airplanes, and automobiles
were seen all over the world!

And at that time the whole world worked together

to build highways
and runways
and skyscrapers,
and to put up electric power poles and radio towers fast as possible!

In just nine years, our world changed
from “horse-driven” to “automobile-driven”,
and everyone of us alive then helped make it happen together.

Now think about this.

Back around 1915,
it took three entire months
to send mail from one place to another.
And then another three months to get a reply!

Yet still, by 1924,
in ten years time,
everyone alive experienced and discovered
a world which had been completely reinvented.

Jump forward again,
one hundred years,
to the present,
here at the beginning of the 21st century.

We have even more discoveries and more inventions.

We have antibiotics, x-rays, microwaves, jet planes, nuclear submarines,
and space vehicles that have taken humankind to the moon and further!

We have satellites, fiber optics, silicon chips, video games, personal computers.
Plus all sorts of other inventions, discoveries, devices, utilities, and tools,
some of which are still brand new,
like the internet.

Where one hundred years ago
it took three months to get a letter from one place to another,
with the internet it now takes just three seconds to transmit mail
to anywhere on the planet.

Distance hardly makes a difference now.

And where our predecessors were there then
as horse-and-buggies
were to be replaced by automobiles and airplanes,

Discuss The Astronaut Instruction Manual with the Author.

Core77’s 2016 Ultimate Gift Guide Contest

Hopefully this will make you smile some. It’s goofy and a touch of mirthful good news. My gift guide"Best Aunt/Uncle in the World–All 5 for $100" is winning list in design website Core77’s 2016 Gift Guide contest. Woohoo!

However what’s really fun is what’s on the list…

…including the Fondoodler, a $25 hot glue gun for cheese!


(Of course The Astronaut Instruction Manual is on the list, too.)

Happy gift-giving, everyone. Fun notwithstanding, the best gift of all? Thanks.


Jamison Stone · Author · added 5 months ago
Very exciting @Mike Mongo !! Wish I could review twice!

Let’s Get It Started in Here

In the next few weeks, you are going to see some major heat coming off The Astronaut Instruction Manual. Legendary and Penguin Random House are uniting with Inkshares for a round of publicity surrounding the tv series and the upcoming audiobook release.

That said, I want to reach out to my 300+ followers and remind everyone of you all of this:

“If you really want to help, you write reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N.” It’s a tweet from my friend, author Malka Older, whose Tor-released hit title Infomocracy has only five more reviews than Inkshares-released The Astronaut Instruction Manual. (Malka’s so good I actually wish she was on Inkshares...and who knows what the future holds?…Infomocracy is a great read and great writing and there will be a follow-up.) And she’s right. Your Amazon review really helps now.

Here’s the Amazon review link for The Astronaut Instruction Manual. Sign-in, click Write a Customer Review, share your opinion, and hit submit. Each review makes the book more likely to pop up on some young reader’s (or parent, teacher, or guardian’s) radar.

Imagine writing a review of The AIM and its having a role in pointing out a future of possibility and hope to the next young Neil Armstrong, Sally Ride, or Mae Jemison.

Goodness, what are you waiting for? Write, my friends, write!

PS And then go and listen to Chapter 1 of Darcy Conroy’s The War of Wind and Moon. Consider it a treat and my way of saying ’thank you’. You are awesome, review writers, and so is she. Listen for yourself.

Jamison Stone · Author · added 5 months ago
Congrats, SEDS is awesome!

SEDS & The Oldest Space Science Student Member in the US

Students for Exploration & Development of Space (SEDS) is the largest space science student organization in the US. Most members are under 25. Some are under 30. You might be able to count any over 40 on one hand.

As of this year, SEDS had one single member over 50. And that member is me.

I have been an enormous fan and supporter of SEDS since attending the organization’s annual SpaceVision conference in 2013. Seeing as SEDS was not an opportunity when I first went to university–hello, 1983–and seeing as the only way to belong to SEDS is to be a student, I made a bold move this past year: I went back to school.

Like the saying goes, it’s never too late to be a kid. Considering the high regard I have for SEDS, being able to forever more own being an actual bona fide member of SEDS really meant the world to me.

Believe it or not, it just got better.

SEDS’ At-Large Board Members (there are two) support the SEDS Board and the SEDS organization by spearheading new projects and new initiatives. For one reason or another, of the two At-Large Board Members one had to resign midterm. A call went out to members for a fill-in At-Large. And I put my name in the hat.  Interviews of the candidates, including me, took place last week. Results were posted last night.

Needless to say, I was absolutely blown away to learn I am the newly elected At-Large Board Member for SEDS!

When I was a kid, I imagined the world to be a certain way. I imagined it is awesome and filled with infinite possibilities and life gets better and better everyday. 

Now I am a grown-up who has lived and put those ideas to the test. Through fire. And they are true!

So, this year’s SEDS Spacevision conference is in November at Purdue University.* While I may not be on the moon (yet), when you see me at SpaceVision this year I’ll be easy to spot.

I’m the guy walking on air.

Keep up the good work, what a ride,
Mike Mongo

* BTW Purdue University is where astronaut & first human being on the moon Neil Armstrong studied engineering. 


You heard it here first: DARCY CONROY

One of best parts of being a hit author is getting to discover new talent. Allow me to introduce Inkshare’s funding author Darcy Conroy.

[See all those Scott Pilgrim books on the book shelf? Cool, right?]

While Darcy Conroy is not a science writer, she is one of the best YA (Young Adult) authors I have read all year. 

In fact, I have not been so excited by a YA book since reading J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book almost twenty years ago. If you think I am exaggerating in the slightest, read for yourself:

(Like audiobooks? Got you covered: Here are the first 9 chapters being read by author.)

The world of The War of the Wind and Moon is an entirely new world and a whole new mythology. And right now you have the opportunity to say, "I knew about Darcy Conroy before the rest of the world." And if she’s anything like me, she will remember. 

Here’s the link to back The War of the Wind and MoonSPECIAL OFFER: Back this book and receive the uniquely eternal gratitude of supporting a new author before they hit big!

That’s it. Here we go, Team! Keep up the good work and read on.


Jamison Stone · Author · edited 6 months ago
Right on @Mike Mongo  just posted mine on Amazon!

Wonderfully inspirational book! I REALLY wish I could have read this when I was younger! If I had, maybe I would then be writing this review from the the International Space Station! But that’s OK because my children WILL be able to read THE ASTRONAUT INSTRUCTION MANUAL when they are old enough, and then, because of it, can take a selfie with my copy on Mars! Thank you, Mike!"


Is that you? Once that was me. Then one day seven years ago I put on my Grown-Up Pants, signed-in, and I wrote my first Amazon review. It was for capsules to prevent colds. Woohoo! The excitement never stopped. 

How many times do we ourselves use Amazon reviews? I only buy items on Amazon with great reviews. Ask my wife. I’m strictly a 4-star and up kinda Amazon shopper.

Why I am sharing all this with supporters and readers is because it’s time.

It is time to write an Amazon review of The Astronaut Instruction Manual.


Just sign-in and click here. (Or vice versa.) 

The AIM already has some great reviews, many of which came from Inkshare readers. To everyone who has written a review, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Everyone else, let’s do this. Click, sign-in, write. Remember, everyone has a first time.




Now it can be told.

As revealed in today’s Hollywood Reporter, Legendary Entertainment…

…the studio behind such mega-hits as Pacific Rim, Godzilla, The Dark Knight, Man of Steel, Superman vs Batman, and Jurassic World…

…has optioned my book for television and is in early pre-production of a television series adaptation of The Astronaut Instruction Manual.

Yes, really.


Soooo, yeah, this is me tonight.

We be jamming.

Thank you, mighty supporters. You got us, inkshares and me, here. We would not be here without you. AND HERE IS A MIGHTY, MIGHTY FINE PLACE. 

Stay tuned and keep up the good work, we gonna be on television!!

Mike Mongo