Unlock the science behind the secrets of the universe

If you’ve ever stared up at the night sky, wondering how it all works, you are among millions across mankind’s history who have been inspired to learn more. But many are put off because they assume the science that makes the stars move across the heavens and powers the rockets we send out beyond the Earth is too complex for them ever to understand.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Writer and space enthusiast JD Palmer is on a mission to demystify the secrets of space science. He believes that astronautics, Special Relativity and other theories that explain the universe are built on core ideas that anyone can understand with a bit of dedication – and the help of someone to lead them through the basic maths in easy steps.

His first book, Light Needs Time, explains how Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity affects the very fabric of the universe we live in. His new title, Rockets, Orbits and Newton, is the first of a series of three that will demonstrate the mathematics behind space flight.

Packed with charts, diagrams and examples, these books make the complex understandable and take Special Relativity and rocket science out of the lecture theatre and into your home.

Buy JD Palmer's books on Amazon

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Excellent book - highly recommended

A really excellent book on a fascinating topic. This book takes the reader through an easy to understand, but very enjoyable journey into Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. There are some brilliant diagrams and illustrations that help the reader to make sense of what could otherwise be a confusing subject. Highly recommended for anyone who would like to understand more about Relativity.

See the review for Light Needs Time on Amazon

The universe is amazing - now you can understand how it works

Take the terror out of complex science

Understand the mysteries of the universe

Learn the physics that makes space flight work

The books

Rockets Orbits and Newton

Modelling a Rocket’s flight to orbit in a spreadsheet

JD Palmer

ISBN: 1721808388 - Buy on Amazon

You may be interested in Rocket Science but…

…can you guide a Rocket into orbit?

Fortunately, Sir Isaac Newton prepared the way for us hundreds of years ago in his laws of motion and law of gravity.

Using only Newton’s four laws and some basic mathematics this book demonstrates that the flight of a Rocket to orbit can be realistically modelled in a simple spreadsheet.

Extras for Rockets Orbits and Newton

Orbiter Excel spreadsheet

Use the calculations from Rockets Orbits and Newton to model your own space missions.

Rockets animation

See a mathematical model of the successive stages of a Rocket’s flight to orbit.


Orbits animation

Modelling elliptical orbits where height and speed are constantly changing.


Dynamics Excel spreadsheet

What Astronauts feel and the effect of circular motion

Design Excel spreadsheet

Factors that affect the performance of a Rocket

Gravity Excel spreadsheet

The effect of Gravity on objects

Light Needs Time

Making sense of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity

JD Palmer

ISBN: 1977932622 - Buy on Amazon

If you want to build up a sound understanding of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity by teaching yourself from first principles…

…this is the book for you!

The theory gives us a much richer and deeper perspective on reality than the one our senses provide us with – but don’t let yourself be put off by its daunting reputation. You really don’t need to be a genius like Albert Einstein to understand and marvel at the symmetry and beauty of his work.

Packed with more than 100 diagrams and charts, Light Needs Time guides you step-by-step through a detailed investigation into Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.


Extras for Light Needs Time

Relativity Excel spreadsheet

A spreadsheet containing the charts and calculations used in 'Light Needs Time'.

Perceptions animation

Observers who are moving relative to each other perceive reality differently.


SR Introduction animation

Two observers disagree about the distance a light pulse travels at the constant speed of light.


Slide Shows

Watch the maths that powers rocket flight and relativity unfold in front of your eyes with these slide shows. Each slide show relates to a topic covered in the author's books on relativity and spaceflight, demonstrating how variations in the values of key equations produce visible real-world effects.

Visit the slide shows page