Holiday shopping season is now in full swing, and if you're looking for the right gift for the space nerd in your life, Space.com has you covered. Throughout the year the staff at Space.com keep their eyes peeled for exciting, new and interesting gift ideas for all ages and interests.
This list includes a replica of the boot print left on the moon by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, an adorable plushy that has traveled to space, a personal planetarium and an introductory telescope! Check out our 2019 space gift guide below. And for even more stellar gift ideas, check out our other buying guides:
- The Best Space Gifts for Kids
- Black Friday Space Deals: The Best (Discounted) Gifts for Space Cadets
- Black Friday Telescope Deals: The Best Deals for Skywatchers
- Black Friday Star Wars Deals: The Best Star Wars Gift Ideas
- Black Friday Lego Deals: The Best Lego Ideas for Space Fans
Celestron Firstscope Apollo Anniversary Bundle
This telescope gift bundle includes commemorative items celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's landing on the moon. The FirstScope by Celestron is a great starter telescope, and this particular version is named after astrophotographer Robert Reeves. "To be associated with the FirstScope, an intuitively easy to use telescope that will introduce a new generation of kids to the delights of Moon, planets, and deep sky objects, brings great joy to my heart… All of them will love the thrill of seeing the unseen and coming face to face with the universe," Reeves shared on a Celestron blog post. ($60 on Amazon)
Why We Love It: This portable telescope just needs a sturdy surface and you and the family are ready for easy skygazing; some customers have reported viewing Jupiter with its moons, and Saturn with its rings! An Apollo 11 commemorative coin, a custom telescope wrap image of the moon and a special edition of the book "50 Things to See on the Moon" (Stellar Publishing, 2019) are included in this bundle.
The Year in Space 2020 Wall Calendar
Help loved ones begin the new decade in celestial style with this 2020 wall space calendar. It features over 120 space images and comes in a large format. ($15 on Amazon)
Why We Love It: Each calendar month page provides information on human spaceflight, planetary exploration and about structures in the universe. It also features daily moon phases for 2020!
(Also, check out the spiral-bound desk calendar version here.)
Lego Apollo 11 Lunar Lander
Lego released this highly detailed, 1087-piece Apollo 11 Lunar Lander set in June 2019, just a few weeks ahead of the 50th anniversary of the first human landing on the moon. This collectible model features a replica of Apollo 11's Eagle lunar module and other accessories. It's intended for ages 16 and older. ($100 from Lego)
Why We Love It: This gift includes a depiction of the lunar surface, complete with crater, astronaut footprints and a U.S. flag. Two minifigures representing the real-life astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong who set foot on the moon in 1969 are also included.
AstroReality LUNAR Pro Smart Moon Globe
This textured lunar replica from AstroReality is a science learning tool and home decoration. At 3-lb (1.3-kg), this moon globe has a solid and sturdy feel in one's hand. ($153 on Amazon)
Why We Love It: With the Augmented Reality App, a recipient can learn where the moon's different landmarks are located.
Sega Toys Homestar Flux Planetarium
This planetarium star projector can light up a living space or ceiling with 60,000 high definition stars. And as many as 30 optional star discs are available for purchase to use with this projector. ($189 on Amazon)
Why We Love It: Customers on Amazon have described the lights as "calming" and "realistic," and enjoy the projector's sleek design.
Celestial Buddies Earth Plush
As seen in space!
This Earth-inspired plushie from Celestial Buddies became an internet sensation when SpaceX sent one to the International Space Station on its Crew Dragon spacecraft this year. This lovely stuffed toy stands 6 in tall (2.5 cm) and, judging by the face, is constantly amazed at the universe around it. ($20 on Amazon)
Why We Love It: This plushy has been to space! The beady-eyed Earth toy acted as a "zero-g indicator" when it traveled inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon on its way to the International Space Station in March 2019. Celestial Buddies also makes plushies of the moon, the sun, the planets and even a comet. Check out the full Celestial Buddies collection here.
Master Replicas Apollo 11 Boot Print
This hand-cast and hand-finished 3D sculpture by Master Replicas commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. This replica of one of the mission's first steps on the moon is named "One Small Step," after the famous words by astronaut Neil Armstrong. This boot print model is based on the real life footprint from Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon. ($137 from Master Replicas)
Why We Love It: It's a life-sized replica! Master Replicas' 17 by 11-inch (43 by 28 centimeters) model was created from a digital scan of the actual boot print, making it so much more than just a sculpture, Steve Dymszo, chief executive and co-founder of Master Replicas, told Space.com.
Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Consider this gift for those who enjoy traveling and exploring new places. "Atlas Obscura, 2nd Edition: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders" (Workman Publishing, 2019) makes destination recommendations for travelers around-the-world destination recommendations for travelers looking for oddities or something unusual. This book was written by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton and is based on the website of the same name. ($26 on Amazon)
Why We Love It: The book makes recommendations that touch on spaceflight and space-related topics, including suggestions to visit a massive meteorite in Namibia, The Large Zenith Telescope in Canada, and the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Read our full review.)
Full Moon Blanket
This soft blanket from RayDi features Earth's prettiest (and only) natural satellite. This 70 in (1.7 m) wide blanket is great for lunar enthusiasts of all ages. ($25 on Amazon)
Why We Love It: The fleece material is lightweight at 1.6 lbs (0.7 kg) and is made for lounging at home, but this gift could also double as a unique picnic blanket.
Lego Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Millennium Falcon
Lego's new and updated Millennium Falcon set is based on the iconic Star Wars ship's appearance in the latest movie, "The Rise of Skywalker." When the 1,351 pieces are assembled, the Millennium Falcon stands 5 inches tall (14 cm), is 17 inches long (44 cm) and 12 inches wide (32 cm). ($160 on Amazon)
Why We Love It: It includes seven minifigures to represent Finn, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Boolio, and the droids C-3P0, R2-D2 and D-0. It also includes two top panels to easily view the interior, as well as rotating top and bottom gun turrets, 2 spring-loaded shooters, a lowering ramp and an opening cockpit.