Bachelor of Arts (Hons.), History of Science and Technology and Classics, 2008
I don't think I've ever been somewhere where you can go to the bar and talk Euclid geometry.
Amy Shira Teitel has been fascinated with space since she was seven years old – when she read everything she could about Neil Armstrong’s first journey to the moon and dreamt of becoming an astronaut herself.
With a History of Science and Technology (HOST) and classics degree from King’s, further studies in corporate communications, and a masters in science and technology studies under her belt, Teitel decided to combine her passion for space with her enthusiasm for writing.
By day, Teitel worked as a personal trainer to finance her dream and, by night, she started Vintage Space, a science blog that specializes in stories about spaceflight history. This unique niche combined Teitel’s intense academic rigour with a lighthearted personal voice. Three months after launching Vintage Space in 2010, Teitel was recruited to write about space, “both historical articles and news items with a vintage twist”, for other sites. Three years later, Popular Science picked up the blog and made it part of its blog network. And in January 2013, Amy was able to give up training and dedicate herself to writing full-time.
Looking back on her time at King’s, Amy says: “I don't think I've ever been somewhere where you can go to the bar and talk Euclid geometry. It’s probably the one place that lets you explore things. I didn’t know I could study [astronautical] history. For my honours thesis, I was looking at ancient medieval links in astronomy, but then my thesis supervisor said, ‘You like spaceflight, and it’s 2007…write about Sputnik.’”
Teitel’s come a long way from that undergraduate thesis, but the ability to explore her early interest in space at King’s has kept her looking for new ways to pursue her passion and pushing herself toward bigger things. Her first book, Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA, is out now from Bloomsbury Sigma. She’s got a couple of other big projects on the horizon, as well as continued devotion to her blog and ever-growing YouTube channel, also called Vintage Space.
Posted: Apr. 2016