376 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations
In just 50 years, space exploration has advanced from the Luna 1, the first artificial object to overcome Earth's gravitational field, to the New Horizons Mission, which will reach Pluto in 2015. Progress has been spectacular, and it bodes well for the remarkable achievements to come.
"Space Probes" is the first complete and fully illustrated history of the international space exploration programme. Thoroughly up to date, it is organized by destination and includes every space probe launched by all countries active in space exploration--the United States, the USSR/Russia, the European Union, Japan, China and India. Each probe is described as to its objective, its technology, the hurdles overcome, the successes and failures of the mission, the information gained and the lessons learned. Fascinating photographs and technical drawings give an inside view of each mission, and special features focus on key engineers and physicists and the fruits of their research.
After a section on the history of astronomy, "Space Probes" covers missions to: The moon, the first objective; Venus, our sister planet; Mars, the red planet; Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, the giant planets; Mercury; The sun; Comets; Asteroids and the dwarf planets; Future missions. The book also includes sections on the Apollo Space Program, the USSR-USA space race and a cross-referenced chronological index of all the probes. Engaging and accessible, Space Probes is a comprehensive and expertly researched encyclopedia of humanity's space explorations, an adventure that has not finished astonishing us.
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Philippe Seguela is a professor of neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He has been passionate about space exploration for more than 30 years.
James Oberg, the NBC News space consultant, is a well-known interpreter of space exploration. He spent 22 years as a NASA space engineer and has written 10 books and more than a thousand articles about space flight.