3-2-1 open! Space-themed gift suggestions for an adult
June 3, 2014 6:38 PM   Subscribe

Help me think of a space-themed gift for an awesome 35-year-old guy.

Hey Guys! My boyfriend is turning 35 soon, and he has a nostalgic love for space. He was really into space as a kid, and he's been indulging his interest with you-tube videos of space shuttle launches lately.

His style is very minimalist, and he doesn't like having lots of clutter around, but I'd like to get him something small or a cool book or something he could tuck away that is space themed. I have most of his gift ready, but would like to add one more item in the range of $25 or so.

Something space-themed from the 80's would be great, but I don't know what that might be. He also likes (small) lego sets/figurines, has a record player, and likes to cook. Any ideas? Thanks, guys!
posted by shortyJBot to Shopping (22 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Space ice cream.

You'd think this would be "immature".

You'd be wrong.

Also, it's a consumable, so no need to worry about clutter.
posted by Sara C. at 6:43 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

nanoblock space shuttle. the blocks are very small, and put together, this does not take up much room. (if he has a cat, you may want to put it in a case after done. ask how i know.)

kennedy space center also has a souvenir shop online.
posted by koroshiya at 6:45 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would second the space ice cream...maybe a "space pen" also!
posted by Captain_Science at 7:05 PM on June 3, 2014

Best answer: Space-themed US postal stamps are cheap on ebay. Start a collection in a smart album.
posted by codswallop at 7:18 PM on June 3, 2014

Lego has just released Benny's spaceship from The Lego Movie. It echoes the original spaceship from the '80s and is indeed awesome. Whoops, missed price range; future gift?
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:19 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

This book that was recently released is pretty awesome. It has some of the best space art ever, in my opinion, and feels very nostalgic. As a bonus, the forward is by our own jscalzi.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:19 PM on June 3, 2014

I haven't read it myself but I gave this to both my husband and my dad for Christmas: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, which is Chris Hadfield's autobiography.
posted by carolr at 7:41 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you're in Richmond, how about a fun trip to the National Air and Space Museum in DC? You could include two tickets and make a day or weekend out of it.
posted by barnone at 8:48 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Membership in the National Space Society is in your price range. For books, Safe Is Not an Option, or The High Frontier. You could also get him an actual flying rocket.
posted by Sophont at 9:00 PM on June 3, 2014

Does he play games? If so, Kerbal Space Program might work.
posted by pompomtom at 9:02 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

a few years back, i downloaded like 6 high-resolution space photos from nasa's hubble website, got them printed as 8x10 images at my local target (this cost like less than $10), picked up some ikea frames and gave them to my space-nerd friend for her birthday. boom. space gift. she still has them on her wall, 3 moves later.
posted by kerning at 9:43 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

There are some excellent histories of the Shuttle program out there. This one just came out recently.

There are several IMAX movies partially filmed on the Shuttle that you can now buy on BlueRay, including one about MIR and one about repairing the Hubble Telescope.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:33 AM on June 4, 2014

Also, Packing For Mars by Mary Roach is a recent and highly readable popular science book about the history and future of human spaceflight. Definitely worth checking out if he hasn't read it already.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:43 AM on June 4, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the great ideas so far! So, he also likes dogs, and I found some cool Soviet-era Laika matchbook covers on etsy, and some retro space magnets.

He is from the DC area, so he's been to the Air and Space Museum a lot, but it would be a fun summer trip!

I loved the astronaut oven mitt from the Kennedy Space Center store, but I'm not sure if *he* would like it as much as I did. But there were great things and ideas there.

And he recently got me a nanoblock giraffe, so I don't want to get him a nanoblock, although the space shuttle is cool.

The Chris Hadfield autobiography looks really cool.

I'm going to check out membership in the National Space Society, too.

I'll favorite things after more ideas come in. THANKS for being great, guys!
posted by shortyJBot at 8:48 AM on June 4, 2014

Another movie, kind of heartbreaking at the end, is Orphans of Apollo. It is a documentary, a true story of how a private group leased the Mir space station and financed a mission that re-activated the station. The dream was to use the station for private scientific research (like the possible diabetes cure that Johnson&Johnson had contracted to launch on the space shuttle pre-Challenger), begin asteroid mining, and keep it in orbit with electromagnetic tethers, but international politics literally brought the dream crashing down.
posted by Sophont at 9:47 AM on June 4, 2014

If he's at all interested in graphic novels and has a tolerance for things intended "for kids" he may enjoy Laika.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 10:03 AM on June 4, 2014

Also, if he hasn't been back to DC recently, there are LOTS of new exhibits at the Air and Space Museum...and has he been to the Annex? If not, it's worth taking a day to go and visit, really spectacular.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 10:05 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

He's probably about a decade too young, but this fella haunts my memories to this day.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:45 AM on June 4, 2014

Best answer: I'd like to suggest the Space Series of 4D Puzzles. I like them, so they're rocket scientist endorsed. An 80s vintage book that was influential on me that he might like is the Space Shuttle Operator's Manual. If he has a record player, he might enjoy the 1969 National Geographic Sounds of the Space Age flexi-disc. NASA Goddard in Greenbelt, MD has a Visitor Center with a gift shop, he might like a trip there.
posted by Rob Rockets at 1:15 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I another book I'd like to suggest is Rockwell International Space Shuttle - Aerofax Datagraph 5. I've had my copy since 1989 and I think it is one of the better Shuttle books I have.
posted by Rob Rockets at 7:06 PM on June 4, 2014

Orbiter, a graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Collen Doran is gorgeous and a great space story.
posted by chrispy108 at 12:23 PM on June 6, 2014

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