In the history of space exploration, there have been many leaps for humankind. From the foremost experts at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, here is a complete visual narrative of our journey from Earth to the stars. . . .
Although the momentous October 4, 1957, launch of Sputnik 1 was not the beginning of humanity's adventure toward space—our curiosity about the skies has been one of the few constants in history—it was the first true venture into orbit. And when future generations think of the twentieth century, they will undoubtedly judge our movement into space, with both machines and people, as a crowning achievement. As we progress in the new millennium, space exploration is vital to managing our global future, as well as to understanding our past and the creation of Earth.
The Atlas of Space Exploration depicts the ever-fascinating history of the space age and humanity's progress in exploring new frontiers. Incredible images from NASA and other sources, visual conceptions of Moon bases, and newly commissioned maps reveal a visual history spanning the earliest eras of the universe, the dawn of the space age, the launch of Sputnik, missions to the Moon, robot landings on the terrestrial planets, and the exploration of the outer solar system. These developments in technology are illuminated by a rich historical context, highlighting how space exploration has changed and expanded our vision of the universe.
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About the Author
Roger D. Launius is senior curator in the Division of Space History at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. He has written or edited more than 20 books on aerospace history and has been a guest commentator on CNN, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, ABC, CBS, NBC, and many others. He lives near Washington, D.C.
Andrew K. Johnston is a geographer at the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, a research department of the National Air and Space Museum. He is the author of Earth from Space and lives in Washington, D.C.