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The Holiday Gift Guide For Nerds Who Want to Leave the Planet

This year has been….not great. If only there was a perfect quote to sum up how we feel about 2017…

There it is. Unfortunately, because we’re not astronauts or uber-wealthy, we’re stuck here on Earth for the foreseeable future. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find some ways to help us mentally escape our terrestrial restraints, and what better way to spread the hope of a better tomorrow among the stars than by finding the perfect gift for that fellow frustrated space geek in your life.

So to help you navigate the black hole that is a mall at Christmas time, we’ve put together this Holiday Gift Guide for Nerds Who Want to Leave the Planet. And with items of all prices and sizes, you’re sure to find the right one for your budget, so you can avoid making your credit card bill supernova.

Heat-Changing Constellation Mug

There are lots of heat-changing mugs, but what we love about this 10-ounce one from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild is its cold form is a beautifully starry night sky. And when you add something hot those seemingly random stars are connected to become their famous constellations. It’s nerd cool — it both looks great and it’s educational. ($13.95)

Astronaut Food

Getting your hands on some “real” astronaut food as a kid was the most exciting thing that could happen to a wannabe astronaut short of winning a trip to Space Camp, but guess what? You can still enjoy it as an adult (I know, I have), especially because you can also get astronaut fruit in addition to multiple types of ice cream. These come from the aptly named Astronaut Foods, but they sell combo packs via Amazon. The five ice cream box is $24.95, but the four-pack of astronaut fruit is only $11.57. These work great as a single gift, or as individual stocking stuffers. And also as snacks you can eat at work when you think no one is paying attention.

“Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil deGrasse Tyson

The best, most affordable way to leave the planet is via a great book (yup, I’m that geek). But some scientific concepts can be tough to comprehend. Fortunately Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” manages to make some of the most complex matters of the universe easy to digest without dumbing them down. It’s a quick, easy read, and available at bookstores everywhere. (E-book 9.00, Print $12)

And if you want a much longer trip through the world of science, Bill Bryson’s classic “A Short History of Nearly Everything” is an absolute must read that also manages to make hard concepts accessible.

UV Glow in the Dark Galaxy Print Dress

If you can’t travel the galaxy, why not bring the galaxy with you everywhere you go. CoquetryClothing has a number of  custom-made, UV glow-in-the-dark lycra spandex dresses and apparel that will let you do just that, including this scoop tank fit and flare skate dress. Because being a space nerd doesn’t mean you can’t look freaking awesome. ($49.99)

Customized Star Map of the Sky From Any Location and Date in History

There is no shortage of gorgeous space prints available to purchase, including all 15 of these incredible NASA travel posters from Wiz Bit Art that we must have. But if you want to give a loved one a special gift with a sentimental touch that won’t break the bank, we recommend The Night Sky. They make customized posters that show what the sky looked like from any location on the planet on a specific date. You could make one for the night your child was born in Phoenix, or from when you first met your spouse in London, or that time in you ate 80 shrimp in New Orleans. You can also include a message commemorating why that time and place is so special. This is like being able to time travel any time you want, which is another great way to escape the present day. ($60)

Custom Nebula/Galaxy Converse Sneakers

You know what’s been cool to wear for decades, and will still be cool a billion years from now when mankind is gone and some different species has replaced us? Chuck Taylor sneakers from Converse. And now you can combine your desire to flee this planet with your desire to look hip while doing it with these custom, hand-painted space sneakers from She Talks to Rainbows. If you ever do get away from this blue marble, Chuck Taylors are fashionable in any galaxy. ($88.14)

Voyager Golden Record Vinyl 3LP Box Set

When NASA sent Voyager I and Voyager II off into the cosmos in 1977, they included a gold-plated record that contained photos from Earth, sounds from the planet, messages from politicians, greetings from around the world, and a wide-range of music. Someday it could be the only evidence we ever existed, and you can have your own copy thanks to this Vinyly 3LP Box Set from ThinkGeek with all of the images and sounds mankind sent to the star. It also has 96-page book with all images that were included on Voyager’s record, and a gallery of images transmitted back from the probes. It’s hard to oversell how cool this set is, and fortunately it will be available by mid-December and you can pre-order it now. ($99.99)

Wormhole Ring

Know how every sci-fi movie explains wormholes by connecting two ends of a piece of paper and sticking a pencil through it? Well there’s a reason they all do that — it makes sense. But why limit the wonder of intergalactic space travel to cheap visual displays when you can turn them into fancy jewelry. That’s what you can do with this wormhole ring from Shapeways, which can also be worn as a pendant. And depending on how much you want to spend and the type of metal you want it made from, you can get one of polished bronze or brass for as little as $64, or a platinum one for $1,100. (Don’t worry, there are lots of options in-between.) A wormhole would be an amazing option to get far, far away from this planet, but until we find one this will have to do.

Space Wall Murals

Even though we’ve begrudgingly accepted this planet is our home and we’re not getting away from it anytime soon, we can still transform our own homes into an intergalactic escape thanks to the removable easy peel and stick space murals from Wall26. They have a wide-range of pictures of stars, planets, galaxies, and nebula, and their large ones, like the one seen here, come in six pieces, 100 x 24 inches each. When combined they cover over 8 by 12 feet of wall. They have smaller options for as little as $20, but the biggest selections are currently on sale for $100. ($19.99-99.99)

Astronomers Without Borders OneSky Telescope

A telescope might be a very obvious space gift, but it’s still the best way to explore the cosmos on your own, and we specifically recommend this great-looking OneSky Telescope from Astronomers Without Borders for two fantastic reasons. The first is that it has received excellent reviews while being one of the best values available at $200. But just as cool is that all proceeds from it go towards Astronomers Without Borders global astronomy programs, which means when you buy one you’ll be helping spread your love of the stars to people in underdeveloped countries. ($199.99)

What better space gift could you give than one that helps a multitude of people from across the globe escape this planet for a little while.

But what are some great gift ideas we missed? Help us and your fellow Nerdist space geeks get away from Earth by sharing them with us in the comments below.

Featured Image: NASA

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