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School Library Journal
This is a hefty and fascinating sample of the more than 14,000 rocketry and space-travel artifacts held by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The book is divided into five time periods. A several-page essay introduces each one, followed by a chronological presentation of the artifacts, ranging from a Nazi-era V-2 ballistic missile and John Glenn's space suit to a cosmonaut's tube of cabbage soup and SpaceShipOne. Each item is clearly photographed and accompanied by an insightful single-page essay describing how it contributed either to the exploration of space or to popular interest in space travel and extraterrestrial worlds. The text assumes some knowledge of the history of space travel, but no more than might easily be learned from a general encyclopedia or a chapter in a textbook. Students with an interest in space exploration or 20th-century history will browse for hours through this colorful and intriguing feast of information.
—Sandy SchmitzCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.