The Space Shuttle: A Mission-by-Mission Celebration of NASA's Extraordinary Spaceflight Program (Hardcover)
“Any backyard astronomer or space enthusiast would be delighted to have this visual journey on their shelf.”
—The Strategist, The Year’s Most Giftable Coffee-Table Books
A Barnes & Noble Best Gift Book of 2022
A Publishers Weekly Holiday Gift Guide 2022 selection
6 orbiters, 140 missions, 355 astronauts, 500,000,000 miles—all in one rich and beautiful photographic journey
Each mission has its own fascinating story, and The Space Shuttle retells these stories, in chronological order, through incredible photos taken by NASA photojournalists, fine art photographers, and the astronauts themselves. Each image is accompanied by a short text that includes quick facts such as crew members, launch date, and landing date, as well as a short overview of highlights and purpose. For example, STS-78’s mission was to study circadian rhythms in space; STS-41G’s mission was to take photographs in-flight, seen in the IMAX movie The Dream Is Alive; and famously, the first untethered space walk, taken by astronaut Bruce McCandless on STS-41B using a self-propelled backpack unit (called a Man Maneuvering Unit [MMU]), allowed astronauts to capture satellites for retrieval and repair and for the planned construction of what became the International Space Station (ISS). Prior to this mission, astronauts were attached to the shuttle with safety lines. The photo of McCandless floating above Earth’s surface is one of the most celebrated and famous space photographs ever. These are just a few of the 140 stories Miller tells in this beautiful volume.
Roland Miller, a Chicago native, worked in higher education for 30 years, first as a photography professor and later as dean. Miller’s book Abandoned in Place: Preserving America’s Space History documents deactivated space launch and test facilities around the United States. Miller’s collaborative project and book with Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, Interior Space: A Visual Exploration of the International Space Station, documents the interior of the International Space Station. Miller’s photographs are in numerous permanent collections, including those of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the NASA Art Collection in Washington, DC. Miller’s photographs have been exhibited in major art and science museums, including the Galleria del Cembalo in Rome, Italy. His work has been featured in major publications, including the New York Times and National Geographic UK.
“‘Sumptuous’ is an adjective too often used to describe beautifully produced books, so, though that word does in fact describe The Space Shuttle, let’s instead call it ‘stellar. . . .’ [T]he reader leaves this book with a deep sense of awe about the program itself and what it accomplished in helping us to better understand what is above us.”