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The Story of Space Station Mir Paperback – 2 Jun 2010
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From the reviews:
"This book by David Harland is written to his usual high standard. It tells the history of Mir from its early planning stage to its spectacular destruction in 2001. This brings together the complete history of a remarkable spacecraft which made living in space possible. If you want to get a clear picture of how the Mir station started … developed and grew and was used, this is the book." (Rex Hall, Spaceflight, Vol. 48, March, 2006)
"The history of the Mir Space Station, initiated with a launch in 1986 and continuously inhabited for a decade, is important for its technological achievements … . Harland, a space historian, presents a very detailed survey of the launches, cosmonauts, engineering details, problems, and solutions. … The book is well illustrated with photographs of people and spacecraft … . a significant addition to the literature of space science and technology. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through professionals." (A. M. Strauss, CHOICE, Vol. 42 (11), July, 2005)
Top customer reviews
If you want more of an explanation of the technology, how it evolved, how these actually functioned and diagrams to illustrate the different modules, you'll be disappointed.
I enjoyed reading it very much, but just felt it spent too long on lists of dates and nowhere near enough time explained the actual station.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
An excellent book, written in a narrative mode, of the MIR space station program. It is not a technical description of the spacecraft, but rather a story of all Russian space stations. Detailed and thorough, it can be read as a thriller, a tribute to the Russian way of handling problems. There are 3 main sections, Salyut, MIR and an extremely interesting 82 pages glossary, which spare numerous explanations to be laid as microscopic bottom page legends. The back cover is an accurate account of the book, and they are many good, but small, quality black and white rare pictures. Few diagrams and schematics though...
The title, MIR, is a bit inaccurate, as the first 139 pages are devoted to the Salyut program. The other 178 pages is the detailed account of the saga of the MIR space station. This book organization makes sense, because the evolution of the Salyut program explains many of the basic design options of MIR.
The book contains lots of interesting details about life in space, scientific experiments, human relationships, space walks, management problems and the incredible resilience of Russian cosmonauts. We can know all the things we wish to know at the time, thanks to soviet era secrecy policy.
After reading the book, the contribution to the design of the ISS from the experience gained in MIR becomes obvious, so many lessons taken from all the incidents that happened.
On the downside, there is little mention of station module design and construction prior to launch, and often the scientific instruments on board are merely mentioned in passing by name.
I find the language a bit "wooden", which might be a result of a direct translation from Russian documentation. Also, I've had an overwhelming impression that the author had not done much research in astronautic terms, and one can see semantic void encompassing scientific data included in the book.
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