A history of manned spaceflight, from Vostok to the Shuttle, including rare photographs from the Russian space program and a foreword by a former Space Shuttle commander
Beginning with a short history of the evolution of the rocket, this story of manned spaceflight moves on to the first manned rocket flights by both the Americans and the Russians. It also includes the little-known story of what is thought to be the earliest manned rocket flight, said to have taken place in 1933 on the island of Rügen in the Baltic under the control of the German War Ministry. The story continues through Yuri Gagarin becoming the first person in space and Neil Armstrong’s "giant leap for mankind," to the first space stationsSkylab, Salyut, and Mir. With the development of the Shuttle, the United States moved ahead in the space race, but soon realized that it was easier to cooperate than compete with Russia, and our two nations began to work together for the first time. This is a nontechnical history of human spaceflight, telling the exciting and dramatic story of the early steps towards the stars.