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The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Space Technology 2nd Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0517542583
ISBN-10: 0517542587
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 2nd edition (June 19, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517542587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517542583
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 8.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,835,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The author john Gatland was head of the British Interplanetary Society during 1960s. He attempted to catalog all rocket launch vehicles that were in and out of service at the time this book was published in 1981. He had published previous books on the subject as early as 1964. This book was probably the best of the series and it is the one that historians should look for.

In the book, he covered the key development of the space age starting from the pioneer European and American visionaries at the beginning of the 20th century to concepts like space colonies and star ships.

The detail history on various satellite and probe types up to 1980 is superb. The pullout pages for the rocket boosters and early space stations were of top quality.

Gatland also kept a "Space Diary" of key events in an appendix and key dimensional information on rocket boosters in the end papers. He updated his book in 1990. While it is of quality, it lacks the pullout pages of the 1981 version.

It is probably the best reference on the topic of space exploration published in the 20th century. It will be a herculean task to match and update it in the 21st century. John Gatland, who died in 2006, penned a superb reference book.
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