This entry in the six-volume "History of Space Exploration" details the many small steps it took to come to the point where the International Space Station is slated to be operable in 2008. The book explores visions of people living and working in space and actualities such as the first space station, the Soviet's Salyut 1 and their craft, Mir, to the shorter career of the US space station, Skylab. While no specific people are profiled in pocket biographies, photos show many aspects of living in outer space that will interest readers. Extensively captioned color and black-and-white photos, occasional diagrams, boxed material including pocket biographies, and quotes break up the page without overwhelming the several paragraphs per heading that convey the chronology. In addition to a timeline, a glossary, bibliography, places to visit, space camps, and websites plus an index are included. 2005, World Almanac, Ages 11 to 16.
Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
Gr 5-7-Kerrod expands on such single-volume treatments as Carole Stott's Space Exploration (Knopf, 1997) or Carmen Bredeson's Our Space Program (Millbrook, 1999) with fact-laden but not indigestible examinations of significant space technology and events. Dawn takes the tale from 17th-century fantasist Cyrano de Bergerac to John Glenn's first flight and the early Mars probes. In Space Probes, the author goes planet by planet, then beyond the solar system, closing with a note about the Hubble Space Telescope's possible successor. Space Shuttles begins with the late-1950s Dyna-Soar project, ends with cogent arguments for moving away from the whole idea of shuttles, and in between offers an unusually detailed look at the Soviet shuttle program, as well as the U.S.'s. Space Stations provides an overview of the predecessors and progress of the aptly named International Space Station. Each volume is profusely illustrated with sharply reproduced space photos and artists' conceptions. Kerrod is a space-exploration booster, but not an uncritical one; he mentions the ugly fate of Laika, the first animal in space, for instance, and tallies failed missions along with successes. Because each title stands alone, there is some necessary overlap, but the entire series still makes an important addition for any collection supporting avid young scientists or strong science curricula.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.