From Library Journal
This reference work provides a basic introduction to the history of space exploration at a time when the two former antagonistsAthe United States and RussiaAare embarking on the multinational Space Station program. Organizing the book in four sections, Launius (chief NASA historian) presents a chronology of major events, four essays that provide a historical overview of space exploration, biographies of major space pioneers, and dozens of primary documents relating to major space policy decisions. Additionally, two appendixes list all manned spaceflights from 1961 through 1997, and an annotated bibliography covers major space history titles. Despite several minor errors in the chronology section, Launius does an excellent job summarizing the early history of spaceflight with his essaysAthe real meat of the bookAand the inclusion of the primary documents provides interesting insights into how major policy decisions were reached, from Kennedy's Apollo decision to the building of the space shuttle. Recommended for public and academic libraries.AThomas J. Frieling, Bainbridge Coll., GA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Here is an updated and expanded second edition. The first edition, also edited by Launius (chair of the Division of Space History of the National Air and Space Museum) was published in 1998 as part of the Greenwood Guide to Historic Events in the Twentieth Century series. The text includes a chronology, a general historical overview of space flight, 3 lengthy essays on space exploration, and 21 biographical essays. In addition, 26 primary documents trace U.S. space flight history, and there is an up-to-date listing of all U.S. space flights up to and including the Columbia
disaster of January 2003. A fine annotated bibliography rounds out the volume. The differences between this and the first edition are the expansion to include documents, people, and events that came after the first edition's publication. This is a worthwhile update for libraries that need a good overview of the history of manned space flight in one source, particularly useful for public and high-school libraries. Jeff KosokoffCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved