Author | Game Designer | MIT-Credentialed Scientist | Podcast Host | SpaceX mission manager

Andrew Rader, PhD

New Book

Beyond the Known

How exploration created the modern world and will take us to the stars


From brilliant polymath Andrew Rader, an illuminating chronicle of exploration that spotlights humans’ insatiable desire to push into uncharted territory, from civilization’s earliest days to plans for interstellar travel.

"Beyond the Known is an engaging, full-color route map showing us how we got here, and where we're now destined to go."

Tim Marshall
New York Times bestselling author of Prisoners of Geography and The Age of Walls

Name for Autograph?

Andrew Rader’s Beyond the Known is a smashing narrative about the history, the promise, and the innately human drive to explore, from antiquity to today to the coming Star Trek era. I could not put it down!

Alan Stern
Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons Mission; Author of Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto

In Beyond the Known Andrew Rader achieves something almost as ambitious as the pioneers he writes about: he retraces the 10,000-year history of exploration, from the Stone Age to the Space Age, in a single book-sized expedition. As the centuries flew by, I learned something new on every page.

Ken Jennings
Jeopardy! Champion and New York Times Bestselling Author of Maphead

Scintillating, coruscating, Beyond the Known shows just how powerful the human urge to travel, to explore, to move always has been and always will be. It is a light on the past—and for the future.

Anthony Pagden
Distinguished UCLA Professor of History and Author of The Burdens of Empire: 1539 to the Present

Has an air of authority as well as a lively pace….Good scientific speculation that will leave readers yearning to see how it turns out. ‘If the history of exploration has taught us anything,’ Rader writes, ‘it's that amazing things happen when humans force themselves to try something no one has done before.’ An astute—and highly flattering—view of human aspirations.

Kirkus Reviews

A thrilling and irresistible history of human exploration, Andrew Rader’s Beyond the Known shows as much admiration for the Polynesians who conquered the Pacific in outrigger canoes as for the astronauts who will take us to distant planets. Celebrating discoverers from every continent, this is world history at its best.

Eugene Rogan
Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, University of Oxford, and author of the international bestsellers, The Arabs: A History and The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East



Andrew Rader is a Mission Manager at SpaceX. He holds a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from MIT specializing in long-duration spaceflight. In 2013, he won the Discovery Channel’s competitive television series Canada’s Greatest Know-It-All. He's the author of Beyond the Known, a history of exploration from the beginning of humanity to our spacefaring future, and of three books in the Epic Space Adventure series (Epic Space Adventure, Mars Rover Rescue, Europa Excursion) and the children's book Rocket Science.

Andrew is also a game designer, occasional YouTuber, and co-hosts the weekly podcast Spellbound, which covers topics from science to economics to history and psychology. Originally from Ottawa, Canada, he's now based in Los Angeles. He's an avid trivia player, space enthusiast, science nerd, and history buff.


Andrew Rader's books


Epic Space Adventure

Mars Rover Rescue

Europa Excursion

Rocket Science

Andrew Rader's Games



Mars Rover Rescue

Evolve: The Game of Unnatural Selection

Politics:  Bribes, Scandals, Strife, & Strategy

Andrew Rader's Videos





with Andrew Rader and Julian Smith

Two guys with too many big questions! From the origins of written language to quantum mechanics, we’re out to make sense of it all. Spellbound is a weekly podcast hosted by Julian Smith (Director/Comedian) & Andrew Rader (MIT PhD, Canada’s Greatest Know-It-All).

Invalid Email

Subscribe for Updates

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Scroll to Top