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Smithsonian Books

Space Shuttle Stories: Firsthand Astronaut Accounts from All 135 Missions

Space Shuttle Stories: Firsthand Astronaut Accounts from All 135 Missions

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Experience all 135 NASA space shuttle missions ever flown through the words of the astronauts themselves in this spectacularly illustrated volume

With more than 600 photos from the NASA archives, this guide is perfect for fans of space history and spaceflight

NASA's space shuttle was the world's first reusable spacecraft, accomplishing many firsts and inspiring generations across its 30-year lifespan as America's iconic spaceship. In Space Shuttle Stories, shuttle astronaut Tom Jones interviewed more than 130 fellow astronauts for personal vignettes from each mission, complemented by their written accounts for all 135 space shuttle missions, from Columbia's maiden flight in 1981 to the final launch of Atlantis in 2011. The book is a major contribution to the historical record of a momentous era of spaceflight.

Each mission profile includes:

  • An astronaut narrative that immerses the readers in their personal mission experience
  • Data about the mission, crew, launch, landing, duration, and highlights
  • Captivating photographs rarely seen by the public

The Space Shuttle program's 6 orbiter vehicles (Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour) carried a total of 355 astronauts into orbit on 135 missions aimed at cutting-edge scientific research, satellite launch, retrieval and repair, collaborative work with the Russian Mir station, the launching and servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the construction of the International Space Station. Space Shuttle Stories focuses on the lived, human experiences of larger-than-life space missions. It's a definitive oral history that captures the importance, wonder, and exhilaration of the Space Shuttle era.

Author: Tom Jones
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
Published: 10/31/2023
Pages: 320
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 3.40lbs
Size: 10.70h x 8.40w x 1.20d
ISBN: 9781588347541

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal 09/01/2023 pg. 105
Booklist 10/01/2023 pg. 12

About the Author
TOM JONES is a veteran astronaut, planetary scientist, pilot, author, and speaker who completed four space shuttle missions and three spacewalks in helping build the International Space Station. Jones has authored six books, including Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir, and has written for aerospace magazines such as Air & Space Smithsonian, Aerospace America, Popular Mechanics, and The Planetary Report. A senior research scientist for IHMC, he appears regularly on television news as an expert commentator for space exploration and science stories.

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