This book is designed for use with the course “Introduction to Human Space Exploration”, available from the author, though it serves the reader equally well, even without the course. America’s history of space exploration is filled with excitement, struggle, tremendous success, shocking failure, heart-breaking tragedy, and thrilling victory and triumph. The exploration of outer space is one of the most intensely magnificent accomplishments in our nation’s history. This book gives a brief history of the many stories of our ventures in space and the brave men and women who made them possible.
In this book, you will experience the thrill of the space race, and read stories from those who were directly involved in the action. You will read accounts of the early days of NASA’s space program, when rockets were blowing up and chimps were riding in Mercury capsules, you will learn about the moon landings and the missions that made them possible, and you will learn about Sky Lab, the Shuttle program, and the International Space Station. Read and learn about struggles for survival, such as in Gemini 8 and Apollo 13, and hear breath-taking accounts of victorious missions, such as Friendship 7, the Gemini 4 space walk, and the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. Relive the hope ushered in by the Apollo Soyuz Test Project, and experience the shocking horror of the Challenger and Columbia disasters. Plus, find out the basics of living and working in microgravity, orbital mechanics, an introduction to our solar system, and much more. The entire book is written in a casual, informal style, so as to provide an emotional connection - making the reader feel as though he/she has a personal interest in the subject and in the people at the center of events as they unfolded.
This book includes a number of interactive elements to engage the reader, such as audio clips, videos of astronaut interviews and mission highlights, photos and photo galleries, web links, and more. Additionally, numerous suggested projects exist, to allow middle and high school students, or even interested individuals, the opportunity to experience space flight in a whole new way. Finally, numerous recommended space flight resources are included in this book, in the form of links to many well respected books, movies, TV documentaries, field trip destinations, and interactive iPad and iPhone apps.
This book is perfect for the classroom, particularly in conjunction with the course for which it was designed, but it truly offers something for everyone. Students will gain a new appreciation for STEM subjects, while experiencing the hopes and dreams of others who have changed the world. Whether you are an avid fan of space exploration or someone with no space flight background at all, you will never look at the subject of space exploration the same way once you’ve read this book.