Customer Reviews: The Space Shuttle: Celebrating Thirty Years of NASA's First Space Plane
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on September 20, 2011
This book is primarily a photo album rather than a comprehensive look at the shuttle program, geared a bit more towards the casual space fan than the hardcore enthusiast. Still, the selection of images is quite good and is wonderful eye candy. I haven't seen any better retrospective collection of shuttle program photos, particularly from the early years. Full-color photos are presented from each mission in chronological order, accompanied by a brief blurb about the mission noting important highlights and milestones. The missions are broken up into different "stages" (STS-1 to Challenger, Challenger to Shuttle-Mir, etc.) each with a brief preface summarizing that era.

While the images appeared to be carefully selected, the book definitely could have used more careful copy editing. For instance, names of orbiters are often mixed up (the correct orbiter will be named in the header about the mission but an incorrect one will be used in the summary), the orbiter Endeavour's name is sometimes misspelled, and there are random typographical errors in the photo captions. All text is exceedingly brief and serves more to give the author a forum for his personal opinions of the shuttle and U.S. politics rather than present an impartial look at history. Info on the shuttle's development and technical data is also quite basic.

The well-chosen photos more than make up for the deficiencies in the text, and thankfully there are other more reliable works available for those interested in details about the shuttle's history and technical operations. Dennis Jenkins's superb Space Shuttle: The History of the National Space Transportation System The First 100 Missions, 3rd Edition is still the standard and will hopefully be revised to cover the end of the program soon. The recently released NASA publication Wings in Orbit: Scientific and Engineering Legacies of the Space Shuttle, 1971-2010 (which is also available as a free PDF online) and NASA Space Shuttle Manual: An Insight into the Design, Construction and Operation of the NASA Space Shuttle (Haynes Owners Workshop Manuals) are also good choices. The collection of images in this book is a perfect companion to those other works.
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on September 19, 2011
Well, I have to say, this book has the most beautiful pictures of the shuttle/station I have ever had in one book. There is 1-2 pages on most missions, with some of the more interesting missions receiving 4 pages. There is a 2 page spread on STS 135 that has a picture of the crew and shuttle workers posing with the tail end of Atlantis in the OPF. Still, I wish they could have included some more detail about the last mission since they delayed the publication of this book until after the mission. It is certainly worth the money though...a beautiful book it is.
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on November 25, 2011
This is a great book on the history of the Space Shuttle. It has information about all about the Space Shuttle flights. It tells who flew on each flight, what they did, the date & duration of each flignt. At the very back of the book is a Space Shuttle Log. The Photos are really awesome too. It is a hardback coffee table size. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Space Shuttle history.
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on September 20, 2011
I find it bizarre that they didn't wait a few months so that this book could actually cover the final flight in the Shuttle program.
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on September 23, 2011
I have three of the best known hardcover books on the Space Shuttle: Space Shuttle The First 20 Years by Smithsonian Air and Space Museum; Space Shuttle History of the National Space Transportation System by D.R. Jenkins; and this is by far the best of the three, it has excellent photographs from each mission as well as the crew and mission aim. I recommend this highly for anyone who is interested in the Space Shuttle program from beginning to end, thirty years.
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on September 16, 2013
Package arrived on time and well packaged. This 300 page volume is chuck full of beautiful pictures and lots of stats printed on heavy stock paper. A nice addition to my Space Shuttle memorabilia. A quality book!
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VINE VOICEon November 18, 2015
Many of us thrilled at the accomplishments of the Space Shuttle program and mourned its tragedies and would appreciate a look back at its history. If you are one of those, find a comfortable chair, maybe on your porch or by your fire, pour your favorite drink and open “The Space Shuttle: Celebrating Thirty Years of Nasa’s First Space Plane”.

Its seven “stages” each begin with a narrative explaining that particular phase of the program, its inception, development, and closure, its crossroads, its highs and lows, its accomplishments and its lost heroes. After the introduction each stage contains a summary of every shuttle mission with dates, orbiter, crew and significant missions.

The most enticing feature of this book is its pictures. The cover shows the orbiter with its open cargo bay and Canada Arm silhouetted against earth and space. On page after page we see equipment and crew, rockets and orbiter, launches and landings, life aboard and space walks, space stations and satellites and incredible blues and whites and stark black.

Author Piers Bizony has created a work that will rekindle memories and introduce us to details that had slid by as we lived our lives and while the shuttle explored overhead. It took me back to the day when a friend suggested that we have lunch at Charlie’s with its big screen television to watch the first landing, and an awesome sight it was. Pick up “The Space Shuttle”, savor your own memories and enjoy.

I did receive a free copy of this book to read and review.
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on December 26, 2011
If you already have the definitive book on the subject by Jenkins and own the other titles on the individual shuttles published by Praxis and Apogee then you'll want to pass on this one.

Too little text and info to satisfy most space geeks and the pics are not worth the $40 price tag...

In my opinion the older book on the shuttle published by DK several years back called "Space Shuttle: The First 20 Years" is a better investment.
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on July 8, 2012
This book arrived on time and in perfect condition. The pictures are outstanding! We can't put it down. There is so much more information then ever could imagine. I am very happy with this purchase and would recommend it to all space fans.
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on December 18, 2011
Timing is everything--in space flight and in publishing. In its desire to be first on the market at the end of the shuttle program the book has to cover the last mission in the future tense. This is an illustrated retrospective of the missions and orbiters, not an overarching analysis of the shuttle program. Excellent photos, some new to the record. A few minor but annoying glitches, such as the name of an orbiter listed correctly in the head but not in the text. Historic background to orbiter concept better than in many other books. Very good as a photo record.

Find more detail at book review website [...]
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