BOOK CORNER: Rocket scientist completes memoir of his adventures

By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“From the Potato to Star Trek & Beyond: Memoirs of a Rocket Scientist,” by Chester L. Richards, is a new book that takes readers on a journey to unexpected places as it offers an inside look at the various adventures Richards faced during his life.

The book was written in response to the passing of the author’s wife.

“I started writing most of the stories as a means to recover from the desolation I felt when my wife Sarah died,” Richards said. “As I wrote, I discovered that my spirits gradually lifted and so I have continued on to this day.”

“From the Potato to Star Trek & Beyond” is made up of about 20 stories spanning a time period of roughly 70 years. Richards shares some of the adventures he’s encountered such as river excursions, an expedition in Africa, working in the aerospace industry, influential people he’s met and more. There are also photos inside.

Writing his memoir was an enjoyable experience.

“While writing these stories I discovered just how entertaining it can be to write,” Richards said.

Inside the book readers will also find life lessons such as navigating the inevitable difficulties of life.

“I’ve had major difficulties,” Richards added. “I describe one in the book which is the loss of my wife and how I reacted to that and if you approach the world from the point of view that this is something you have to not only experience but learn from instead of letting it defeat you, you can also make it stronger.

“You get stronger by overcoming the difficulties that you have.”

The book will be enjoyed by a universal audience of all ages.

“There are stories of adventure and hazard. There are insider stories about Hollywood and the aerospace 
industry,” Richards said. “There are stories about America’s past; most of all, these stories are about
some of the most extraordinary people that I have met along the way — people well worth knowing.”

In addition to being an author, Richards is a semi-retired rocket scientist. He is based in Thousand Oaks. For more information about the author and his work visit

“From the Potato to Star Trek & Beyond: Memoirs of a Rocket Scientist” is available for $34.99 (hard cover) or $19.99 (trade paper) via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Thriftbooks, Walmart, and EBay.