Space really is our final frontier, and mankind has been figuring out how to get there for a long, long time. With this new book, Smithsonian has published a heavily illustrated (the only pages without illustrations are the index!) compendium of all things related to human space flight. Combining actual history with speculation and viewing it from a very international perspective, Miller's book does an excellent job of presenting the topic from our collective imagination (Star Trek, Star Wars, and Buck Rogers) as well as from reality (Apollo, Mir Space Station, and the space shuttle). It will be enjoyed equally by history buffs, science-fiction fans, and scientists.
Miller's new work is a beautiful picture book of real spacecraft, spacecraft currently under development, and other spacecraft that have been imagined or presented in literature, film, and other forms of art. The book follows a chronological order with development--beginning with the "dreamers," dating back to Copernicus and Galileo, and continuing all the way through future missions that have yet to take flight. Along with real spacecraft, Miller mixes in imaginary visions conceived by the likes of Jules Verne, Walt Disney, and Gene Roddenberry. The book includes many obscure drawings, photographs, and sketches from a wide variety of individuals; these show how the visionaries that created these images helped influence the scientists and engineers who play significant roles in developing actual spacecraft. Overall, this book is appropriate for a general audience, especially those individuals interested in spaceships. This book has the potential to influence the next generation of rocket scientists.show more