Exploring the Unknown, Vol. 5, Exploring the Cosmos

By Campbell, Jonathan W. | Air & Space Power Journal, Summer 2003 | Go to article overview

Exploring the Unknown, Vol. 5, Exploring the Cosmos


Campbell, Jonathan W., Air & Space Power Journal


Exploring the Unknown, vol. 5, Exploring the Cosmos edited by John M. Logsdon with Amy Paige Snyder, Roger D. Launius, Stephen J. Garber, and Regan Anne Newport. US Superintendent of Documents, NASA History Office (http://history.nasa.gov/what.html), Washington, D.C., 1999, 796 pages, $70.00.

One of the most important developments of the twentieth century has been spaceflight-the human movement into space with people and machines. Its elements included people, motivations, organizations, objectives, and technologies; and the managerial, political, economic, and international contexts in which space-age events unfolded. Historians and students conducting research into spaceflight history may find this volume, and the series in general, a useful reference. This is the fifth book in the NASA series that documents key aspects of spaceflight development in the United States. However, it may be of limited value to the general Air Force reader.

Spaceflight has continued to enjoy a near-universal appreciation of its historical significance. Probably no other large-scale human activity has been chronicled as extensively. The result is a body of related material that can be overwhelming and one of the principal challenges faced by scholars and researchers. NASA attempted to ameliorate this problem more than a decade ago when it began the first of what will become an eight-volume series. Each volume includes pivotal documents from diverse sources that detail the evolution of the US space program.

Volume 1, Organizing for Exploration, was published in 1995 and covered the antecedents to the US space program and the origins and evolution of NASA and US space policy. Volume 2, External Relationships, 1996, dealt with the relationship between the US civilian space program and the space activities of other countries; the relationship between the US civilian, national security, and military space efforts; and satellite communications, remote sensing, and the economics of space applications. Volume 3, Using Space, was published in 1998. Volume 4, Accessing Space, covered various forms of space transportation and was published in 1999. Future volumes will cover solar and space physics, earth science, and life and microgravity science (volume 6), and human spaceflight (volumes 7 and 8).

Over 110 documents were selected for inclusion in this volume on the US space-science program. …

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