Picturing the Space Shuttle:
The Early Years

John Bisney and J. L. Pickering

Hardcover: $45.00
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Available for pre-order. This book will be available September, 2021
 

Rare views of the beginnings of a historic space program  
 
“The best history of the early Space Shuttle I’ve ever read, illustrated with scores of pictures I’d never seen. I lived and worked the Space Shuttle program but this book brought new insights even for me.”—Hugh W. Harris, retired director of public affairs, NASA, Kennedy Space Center
 
“Pickering is one of the world’s leading experts on human spaceflight photography, and his works are the benchmarks against which all other photo-driven, NASA-related projects must be measured.”—Rick Houston, coauthor of Go, Flight! The Unsung Heroes of Mission Control, 1965–1992  
 
“Once again Bisney and Pickering have put together a collection of photos with insightful text that brings to life a part of our space program history. With a focused attention on the early days and first four missions of the Space Shuttle program, this book recalls the origins of an ambitious new era that filled us with hope for a bright post-Apollo future of living and working in space.”—Jim Banke, former aerospace journalist and president of MILA Solutions, LLC  
 
“A wonderful collection of rare photos that make you relive the exciting early years of the Space Shuttle program.”—Ed Hengeveld, spaceflight historian   “Blurb in progress.”—Hugh W. Harris, former director of the Public Affairs Office, Kennedy Space Center  
 
After the excitement of the first Moon landing, the U.S. space program took an ambitious new direction closer to home: NASA’s Space Shuttle program promised frequent access to Earth orbit for medical and scientific breakthroughs; deploying, repairing and maintaining satellites; and assembling a space station. Picturing the Space Shuttle is the first photographic history of the program’s early years as the world's first space plane debuted.
 
Showcasing over 450 unpublished and lesser-known images, this book traces the growth of the Space Shuttle from 1965 to 1982, from initial concept through its first four space flights. The photographs offer windows into designing the first reusable space vehicle as well as the construction and testing of the prototype shuttle Enterprise. They also show the factory assembly and delivery of the Space Shuttle Columbia, preparations at the major NASA field centers, and astronaut selection and training. Finally, the book devotes a chapter to each of the first four orbital missions, STS-1 through STS-4, providing an abundance of seldom seen photos for each flight.            
 
Mostly selected from J. L. Pickering’s personal archive, the world’s largest private collection of U.S. human space flight images, the high-quality photographs in this book are paired with veteran journalist John Bisney’s detailed descriptions and historical background information. The book also includes images of NASA and Shuttle contractor booklets, manuals, access badges, and press kits, as well as a foreword by Robert Crippen, the pilot of the first Space Shuttle flight. Picturing the Space Shuttle recreates the excitement of an era in which the possibilities of space exploration seemed limitless.  
 
John Bisney is a journalist who has covered the space program for CNN, the Discovery Science Channel, and SiriusXM Radio. J. L. Pickering is a spaceflight historian and authority who has been archiving rare space images for 50 years. Together, they have coauthored many books, including Picturing Apollo 11: Rare Views and Undiscovered Moments.

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