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[b]Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Marks 50 Years of Spaceflight with "After Sputnik"[/b]
[i]The Sweeping Story Told Through Artifacts and Images[/i]
Oct. 4, 2007 marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, the event that began the Space Age. "[URL=http://amzn.to/2dkQYfj]After Sputnik: 50 Years of the Space Age[/URL]," edited by curator Martin Collins (Smithsonian Books/April 1/$35, hardcover) tells the story of the first half century of space exploration through a close consideration of 140 objects selected from the holdings of the National Air and Space Museum, home to the world's premier collection of space artifacts.
Spaceflight has cut a broad swath through the contemporary experience, intertwining with politics, business, foreign affairs, popular culture, science and technology. It has shaped and transformed mankind. "After Sputnik" explores this epic history in a unique way, using rich, beautiful images of the Museum's artifacts to carry the story. The book features 225 all new four-color and black-and-white photographs of a variety of items — what Collins calls the "real stuff" of history — many of them well known, others less so, but all unforgettable. Among them are the following: [list][*]Spacesuits used by John Glenn and Neil Armstrong
[*]Spacecraft, such as the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule, Gemini VII, the Apollo 11 command module Columbia, the space shuttle Enterprise and the first privately financed space vehicle, SpaceShipOne, among others
[*]Space-related gear: A functional rocket belt from the 1950s; a lunar rover; a Manned Maneuvering Unit for spacewalks; the Mars Pathfinder, and more
[*]Space-related collectibles, from a Buck Rogers trading card to a Sputnik music box and Apollo-Soyuz cigarettes
[*]Such pop culture depictions of space travel as Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon," "Star Trek," "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Alien"[/list] An authoritative text accompanies each artifact, containing detailed background information about the object and its role in the story of space exploration. In addition, Collins introduces each chapter with a thoughtful essay that provides context and focus for the featured artifacts, with subjects ranging from the evolution of the concept of spaceflight in the decades prior to Sputnik to the impact that space technology has had on humans and their perception of the world.
"The book presents each artifact as an individual story, seen in detail but connected to larger outlines of American history and spaceflight's role in shaping our world," Collins noted. "Individually and in total, the artifacts in this book invite the reader to reflect on the space age as a lived, flesh-and-blood undertaking and a venture that has remapped the human experience."
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