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Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection Hardcover – May 5, 2009
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About the Author
Mark Avino In the Cockpit: Inside 50 History-Making Aircraft (Collins Design, 2007) and At the Controls: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Book of Cockpits (Boston Mills Press, 2001). A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, he joined the Smithsonian Institution in 1983. He lives with his wife and three children in Burke, Virginia.
Allan A. Needell is the Curator of Human Space Flight in the Division of Space History at the National Air and Space Museum. He has published on the history of physics, the origins of American national laboratories, and government/science relations. He is the author of a study of the career of a major American science administrator, Science, Cold War and the American State: Lloyd V. Berkner and the Balance of Professional Ideals (Routledge, 2000). Needell joined the National Air and Space Museum in 1981 and is currently responsible for the museum’s Apollo space flight collection.
Thomas P. Stafford is a retired Lieutenant General of the U.S. Air Force and a former NASA astronaut. Stafford piloted Gemini VI, the first rendezvous in space (1965), and commanded the Apollo 10 lunar mission (1969) and the historic Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (1975). He is the recipient of many awards in aviation and honorary degrees from American universities.
Top Customer Reviews
A while back I had read that John Glenn's Mercury spacesuit had shrunk and is now very fragile. This didn't sound right. After all, common sense suggests that if these things are designed and built to withstand the rigors of outer space, they should last forever. Right?
Museum Specialist Amanda Young starts off this saga by providing nicely detailed, but not burdensome, descriptions of the various spacesuit types and different models thereof in the Smithsonian's Collection. If you believe that you know all there is to know about U.S. spacesuits (like I did), you're in for one very big surprise. There are so many variations, not just of the suits themselves, but of the helmets and gloves as well, that it's a wonder anyone could keep track of them. A detailed listing of the suits in the collection appears at the end of the book. It is about 10 pages long and the font size is not large.
But where this book and Ms. Young really shine is when she discusses the problems of preserving and displaying these priceless national treasures. Her prose is clear, concise, and devoid of the baggage one usually sees when the writer is attempting to impress the reader. It doesn't take long to realize that the author is someone for whom these suits are not abstract objects. One can easily tell that Young has touched, examined, probed, and hefted spacesuits all the way from Alan Shepard's Mercury suit to Tom Stafford's Apollo-Soyuz suit.
The deterioration of some of these suits is both devastating and disturbing.Read more ›
Space Shuttle program. Even includes suits from the MOL Program and
experimental ones. Suits, helmets, gloves, and boots are shown. There
is also a list of suits in the NASM collection. However, there are no
photos of the early Space Shuttle Program USAF type suits and the blue
flightsuits/gear. Other related books include: U.S. Space Gear
Outfitting the Astronaut by Lillian D. Kozloski and US Spacesuits by
Kenneth S. Thomas and Harold J. McMann. I would like for someone to
write books on the following: Flown spacesuits from Mercury to ASTP and
the Shuttle program; NASA spaceflight survival gear and tools; NASA
flightsuits, jackets, and gear; U.S. military high altitude suits.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I selected this book in preparation for a trip to the Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. and a Smithsonian trip to Star City in Russia to learn about the Russian space program. Read morePublished on February 1, 2014 by Stephen G.
This is a very beautifull picture book of the spacesuits used on Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programmes. Read morePublished on December 29, 2012 by Boogaerts Erwin
What a wonderful book. Even though I worked on a stage as an engineer, I knew nothing about the space suits. Read morePublished on July 27, 2010 by Sara Howard
My review will be short. I'm not an amateur space historian, nor have I read any other books about spacesuits and their design, so I can't compare this book to any others. Read morePublished on March 27, 2010 by Gerard Dreiss
This is a superb compilation of pictures from departure of space age to shuttle space suits ; a complete explanation of developments and protoypes with adaption and... Read morePublished on September 16, 2009 by Mariani