Nancy Atkinson

Science Journalist

Universe Today

Nancy Atkinson is a science journalist and author with a passion for telling the stories of people involved in space exploration and astronomy. She has been with Universe Today since 2004, and also writes for The Planetary Society and Ad Astra, the magazine of the National Space Society.

Her latest book is on the Apollo program, titled “Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions” (2019) .  It shares the untold stories of engineers and scientists who helped make the Apollo program so successful. The book came out just in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, the first to land on the Moon.

Nancy was the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast from 2009-2014 (now SSERVI), was part of the production team for Astronomy Cast from 2008-2015, and worked with the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast where she was project manager from 2009-2011. She also wrote for Seeker, has articles published on New Scientist,,, NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine, Space Times Magazine, and several newspapers in the Midwest.

In 2010, Nancy was awarded the New Horizons Traveling Fellowship by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, and through this program, she has the opportunity to share her passion of space and astronomy with children and adults through presentations and programs.

Education has always played a major role in Nancy’s work. At the Science Museum of Minnesota (2000-2001), she was the lead teacher for a space shuttle simulation program, using a 1/3 actual size inflatable space shuttle. Nancy brought the shuttle to schools, doing week-long educational programs and space mission simulations. She developed  and taught  other educational programs at the museum as well.  Later, she worked at a library and was able to provide professional development for librarians through workshops and an online learning module on how to incorporate space and science programs at libraries. Nancy views her writing as another way to educate and inform people about the wonders of space exploration and science.

Nancy received a BA in English with an emphasis in Mass Communications from the University of Minnesota-Morris.

Nancy grew up in North Dakota, and lives in Minnesota. She and her husband have three sons.