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NASA:  The Complete Illustrated History

NASA: The Complete Illustrated History
Michael Gorn
London : Merrell, 2005
TL789.8 .U5 G67 2005

The first illustrated history of NASA - the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration - ever to be published, this groundbreaking book tells the exciting story of space exploration from the early twentieth century to the present, focusing on the personalities involved as much as the technological advances that have made space exploration possible. Authoritatively and accessibly written by historian Michael Gorn, NASA: The Complete Illustrated History tells of the exhilarating climate of discovery that has existed inside the NASA (and its precursor, NACA). Here Michael Gorn describes the tools and techniques of research and development, such as wind tunnels and test flights in the atmosphere, and discusses the temperments and personal ambitions of scientists and engineers, pilots, and astronauts.

Stunning photographs help bring to life the sweeping and inspiring story of space exploration, from the quest for speed and altitude that resulted in the Mach 1 Bell X-1 aircraft, and the space competition between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. following the Soviets placing the Sputnik 1 satellite in orbit in 1957, to the first Moon walk during the Apollo 12 mission in 1969. Also related here is the story of the Space Shuttle program, in which the loss of the Challenger and Columbia crafts and their crews reminded the world of the immense risk inherent in space exploration; that of the robotic technologies behind the first Viking photographic surveys of the Martian surface, which brought tantalizing hope of finding evidence of past life on the Red Planet; and of the Voyager spacecraft "Grand Tour" of the solar system, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the International Space Station.

Celebrated Apollo 11 astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin reminds us in his foreword that spaceflight is only about fifty years old and still in its infancy, and mentions his own sense of inspiration about space travel. NASA: The Complete Illustrated History recounts the absorbing tale of the research and researchers who forged NASA's achievements, and is a book that everyone interested in the extraordinary history of space exploration will want to own.

Quoted from dustjacket.