STO Book Reviews

Spaceflight: A Smithsonian Guide book cover Spaceflight: A Smithsonian Guide
Smithsonian Guides Series
Valerie Neal, Cathleen S. Lewis, Frank H. Winter

Paperback - 256 pages
6 x 8-3/4
ISBN: 0-02-860040-1
This is a balanced, objective, comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to a complex topic that students of all ages find stimulating. As you might expect from its publication date, the paperback covers American and Rsussian space science and exploration developments from their early history to the mid 1990s. The milestones, triumphs and tragedies of all manned flights are listed. The Moon Race and planet probes are described. The future is envisioned.

In seven main sections, Spaceflight: A Smithsonian Guide describes and illustrates landmark events, technological advances and the drama of men and women using machines to live and work in space:
  1. Elements of Spaceflight
  2. From Dreams to Reality (history)
  3. Rocket Launch Vehicles
  4. Journey Into Orbit
  5. Exploring the Moon
  6. Exploring the Planets
  7. Using Space
This enjoyable small package has more than 350 color illustrations, cutaway drawings, diagrams, charts, and photographs. There is an eight-page foldout history timeline, and a forty-page photo-illustrated glossary. Some of the general areas introduced and covered in this visual tour of the Solar System and beyond include:
  • Astrophysics of spaceflight
  • Great rocket theorists and designers
  • Elements of working spacecraft
  • Piloted flights from Vostok to the space shuttles
  • Robot interplanetary probes
Valerie Neal is Curator for Skylab, Space Shuttle, and Space Lab in the Department of Space History at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM). Cathleen S. Lewis is Associate Curator, Aeronautics Department and Department of Space History, NASM. Frank H. Winter is Curator of Rocketry, NASM.

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