A beautifully illustrated history of the exploration of space through the most iconic objects from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Throughout the whole of human history, across all of Earth's cultures and landscapes, countless individuals have gazed up at the stars with wonder and awe. Getting to space was no easy task, and our curiosity with the surrounding universe has long been a source of earthly pride and competition. At the bottom of this international technology driven rivalry lies one unifying purpose, which is to understand the impossibly vast heavens. In Milestones of Space, Michael Neufeld and select curators of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum present a gorgeous photographic celebration of some of the most groundbreaking artifacts that played key parts in giving humanity its first steps into the cosmos. Focusing on the most iconic objects and technology - such as Friendship 7,the Lunar Module 2, Neil Armstrong's Lunar Suit, the Hubble Space Telescope, and Space Shuttle Discovery - this book extensively profiles eleven of the NASM's most important breakthroughs in space technology. The NASM curators feature each object in incredible detail with compelling timelines, sidebars and captions, and over 150 archival images that provide new and little-known insights into their development and historical context. We are still a long way from grasping our universe . . . but for now, Milestones of Space magnificently commemorates the individuals and inventions that have taken us this far.
Michael J. Neufeld is a museum curator in the space history division of the Smithsonian Institute's National Air and Space Museum. He was educated at the University of Calgary and Johns Hopkins University, where he received his doctorate in history. He is the author of The Rocket and the Reich (The Free Press, 1995), Von Braun: Dreamer of Space and Engineer of War (Random House, 2007).
Valerie Neal is curator for human spaceflight in the Space Shuttle and International Space Station era at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. Before joining the Smithsonian, she worked with NASA on early shuttle missions. She now curates exhibitions at the NASM and oversees more than 1,500 artifacts, principal among them the orbiter Discovery, which is housed in the NASM's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in northern Virginia. She lives in Washington, D.C.
"Today we stand on the edge of what just might become a new Space Age, with NASA working alongside an array of private space companies. This authoritative, beautifully designed, and highly readable book is a timely reminder that our future in space will be built on the awe-inspiring achievements of the past. The wonderful photographs in Milestones of Space also remind us that the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum is one of the most exciting places on Earth. The artifacts celebrated in these pages will be remembered for centuries to come, but they also lay down a challenge for today's generation. We must make sure that these iconic objects are merely the first eleven milestones in a continuing voyage of discovery and achievement. This book helps keep inspiration alive." - Piers Bizony, author of The Rivers of Mars
"Imagine a guided tour of historic space artifacts by expert historians, replete with detailed stories and insightful commentary. That is the experience that awaits you in this marvelous book, which will delight any space fan." - Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon
"Milestones of Space provides richly detailed personal accounts of some of the most iconic objects in space history over the past six decades. The amazing stories of their creation, use, and influence around the world touch on everything from the first Telstar communications satellite to Moonwalker Neil Armstrong's space suit to the Hubble Space Telescope and the Space Shuttle Discovery that launched and serviced it on orbit. This book takes you behind the scenes with firsthand stories and rare photos documenting how imporant these objects are to history--almost like a personally guided tour of the National Air and Space Museum. I can most highly recommend Milestones of Space for anyone interested in the development of space technology, spaceships, or the history and significance of the Space Age to our modern global society."
-William F. Readdy, former NASA astronaut and Space Shuttle commander
"From the earth-shattering thunder of a Saturn V moon rocket to the fragile Lunar Module that took Neil and Buzz to the Moon and the groundbreaking Space Shuttle orbiter that took me to space adn back, you'll find the last word here on the iconic spacecraft, probes, and equipment that unlocked the secrets of space. These are the insdie stories, from the Smithsonian's experts, that will put you in orbit, too."
-Tom Jones, veteran astronaut, spacewalker, and planetary scientist
"...a richly illustrated book that provides well-written insights into some of the more famous objects in the museum's collection that both beginners and experts can appreciate." - TheSpaceReview.com