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Space Shuttle: The History of the National Space Transportation System The First 100 Missions, 3rd Edition [Hardcover]

Dennis R Jenkins
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 11, 2001 0963397451 978-0963397454 3
This history chronicles the development of reusable spacecraft, including the full and fascinating history of Space Shuttle flights and all developmental and experimental craft. This book has been totally revised and updated since it was last published in 1996.

Frequently Bought Together

Space Shuttle: The History of the National Space Transportation System The First 100 Missions, 3rd Edition + NASA Space Shuttle Manual: An Insight into the Design, Construction and Operation of the NASA Space Shuttle (Haynes Owners Workshop Manuals) + NASA Apollo 11: An Insight into the Hardware from the First Manned Mission to Land on the Moon
Price for all three: $74.22

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Banking on space enthusiasts' appetite for detail, Jenkins delves into enough minutiae of the space shuttle to enable, it seems, the building of one's own orbiter. Schematic diagrams abound, as do more than 1,000 photos of all aspects of the space shuttle system: construction, maintenance, transportation (piggyback on 747s), and launch pad infrastructure. Curiously, the launches constitute a minor visual element in Jenkins' presentation, but the book is aimed at technophiles, not Canaveral tourists rubbernecking a blastoff. The engineering oriented will linger over Jenkins' history of the design of reusable spacecraft, which began on the drawing boards of Nazi rocket scientists who proposed an atmosphere-skipping craft to bomb New York. The American military's desire for a nuclear bomber lay behind the first space shuttle project, the canceled Dyna-Soar spacecraft of the early 1960s. When revived in the early 1970s, minus the bomb bay, the space shuttle showed a compromise configuration; its might-have-been structures are attested by drawings of about 40 alternative concepts. Hard-core space fans will have all they can handle in Jenkins' comprehensive catalog. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"Highly Recommended" -- Air International magazine, January 2001

"Outstanding Title" for 2002. "Jenkins offers a comprehensive and engaging story of the development of the US Space Shuttle ..." -- Choice Magazine (American Library Association), January 2003

Listed as one of the "very best books about the world of aviation and spaceflight" -- Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 524 pages
  • Publisher: Dennis Jenkins; 3 edition (May 11, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963397451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963397454
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
While many books have been written about the historical development of the Space Shuttle, this book is without a doubt the best and most thorough of all. In addition, to the comprehensive text, the book contains hundreds of black and white and color photographs as well as numerous line drawings to further help the reader understand this marvelous space vehicle. Roughly the first 40% of the book covers the developmental history of the Space Shuttle from the early designs of Sanger, Bredt and von Braun, though the X-planes and Dyna-Soar to the many numerous NASA designs of which there are several hundred. These first 200 hundred pages far eclipse any other book on the subject and focus on the engineering side of the project and avoids most of the political discussions that accompany most other books on the subject. The next 60-70 pages cover the development of the present Space Shuttle. After this large introductory section, the book examines the first 100 mission of the Space Shuttle, including the Challenger accident and all the changes made to the Shuttles to improve flight worthiness. The final sections provide very technical descriptions of all aspects of the space shuttle from the landing gear, the thermal control system, the heat shields and much, much more. While I can't comment about the technical accuracy of all these sections, for those sections that I'm familiar with, the thermal control system, the environmental system and EVAs, I couldn't find anything wrong.
One final thing to add, in my over ten plus years working as a NASA contractor at the Johnson Space Center, I would say that I have referred to this book more than any other when I'm looking for information about the Space Shuttle, whether it is just general information or something more technical.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Technical History December 16, 2003
This book is by far the best technical history of the Space Shuttle, presenting an overview of the vehicle's development and use. It begins with a discussion of the origins of the goal of winged spaceflight in the 1920s, extends through the Dyna Soar, lifting body, and X-plane research until the decision to proceed with the Space Shuttle in 1972. It then goes into great detail about the shuttle's design and development effort in the 1970s and then discusses in some detail the first 100 missions of the program since 1981. In every case Jenkins offers an excellent technical analysis of all aspects of the vehicle. This book is the place to start in any effort to understand the history of the Space Shuttle. When the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) started investigating the shuttle accident of February 1, 2003, its members read this book as background to their important work. Jenkins soon became a staff member supporting the CAIB and his expertise showed in the final report.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary achievement April 17, 2001
Having just spent some time on the subject myself I can say in all good faith that Dennis Jenkins has done a remarkable job of compiling information on America's Space Transportation System. This book stands head and shoulders above anything else I have seen published on this complex subject. Covering everything from the earliest designs of Valier and Sänger up to and including future proposals for liquid boosted versions of the Shuttle, this book has it all. I have been carrying this book around with me for 48 hours straight. Brilliant job!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technically Refreshing February 11, 2003
By "cuby2"
I am an engineer and find the book technically informative. The writings, pictures and diagrams reach just far enough below the surface to make the book very enjoyable. More..more.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Comprehensive Must-Have May 7, 2001
Dennis Jenkins has created an absolutely definitive reference work in this massive and well illustrated volume. It appeals strongly to both the casual reader (such as myself) as well as - I suspect - the expert (such as Robert Godwin!).
As such, it is a highly recommended history of the Space Shuttle program full of interesting detail.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Resource August 7, 2003
By A Customer
This book is a valuable resource for anybody interested in the Space Shuttle Program. Not only does it detail much of the early history of lifting reentry vehicles, it provides a (short) overview of each flight and contains tables that provide just about every detail of the flights (the exact thrust produced by each Solid rocket Booster, the serial numbers of each engine used, the precise amount of liquid oxygen loaded in the External Tank, etc.). One reader noted some discrepencies in launch/landing dates, but the confusion probably arises since Jenkins uses GMT (actually, UTC) times instead of Florida/California times - if the launch or landing was near midnight, then the date might be different in GMT. Although a tad confusing, this is more precise since it eliminates needin to know if the launch site was observing daylight savings time at the momenent.
The book is printed on excellent quality paper, is well bound (no dust jacket, however), and the photos are drawings are very well reproduced. The book is highly reocmmended to anybody interested in the Space Shuttle.
Please note, however, that the book only covers the first 100 missions (through late 2000), so it does not include the recent Columbia accident.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome April 29, 2002
The title of this review says it all. Well put together and puts you right in the seat of the greatest machine in the world. Breaks down the pioneering development of reuseable spacecraft and details the development of the beloved orbiter family. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the space shuttle and our nations great space program. Awesome job!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
Purchased as a gift. It was just what he wanted. Very well printed and beautiful pictures. I would recommend it to all space friends.
Published 2 months ago by KathrynB
5.0 out of 5 stars A MONSTER of information and details
There is NO BETTER, MORE COMPLETE book on the space shuttle. In addition to amazing
photos, drawings and detailed descriptions of the hardware, this book contains everything... Read more
Published 4 months ago by paul mcclain
5.0 out of 5 stars The most detailed account of the Space Shuttle that I know!
The Story of the development and the building of the Space Shuttle is giving me endless hours of reading pleasure! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Louis Berger
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an awesome book!
This is a really great book and worth getting if you have any interest in the (now defunct) shuttle program. Read more
Published 14 months ago by R. Southern
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, but not much fun
I hate to be the odd man out when reviewing this book, but here goes. There is a huge amount of info here, which is both fascinating as well as frustrating. Read more
Published on May 17, 2011 by Larry Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars If you buy one book, make it this one
This is an amazing book. The writer goes back to WWII to begin the tale, and brings it to the 100th mission of the space shuttle. Read more
Published on May 10, 2011 by Homer Jay
5.0 out of 5 stars Best technical history of this - or any - space vehicle
What Jenkins has done here is phenomenal. Certainly no other book on the Shuttle compares to it, and I don't think any other space vehicle, not even Apollo, is the subject of a... Read more
Published on April 23, 2011 by Matthew A. Bille
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Great Book for the Real NASA/SHuttle Fans not so much for the new ones or kinda into it.
has lot of good facts and info on the Shuttle and Crew and nice photos
Published on March 28, 2011 by REDS3254
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!!
I have owned this book for nearly ten years. It is without a doubt "the" work to own in regards to the space shuttle program. I'm much looking forward to the next edition.
Published on November 25, 2010 by Scott J
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
This book is fantastic! The details it gives are incredible and if you are a serious Shuttle fan and want to know the cool, rarely released technical stuff, you need this book! Read more
Published on October 19, 2010 by S. Crews
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