on 29 November 2011
If you're of a certain age you probably have unusually fond memories of the shuttle - for me it was being allowed to stay home from school to watch the BBC coverage of the STS-1 launch. Thirty years later it was rather maudlin watching the live return of STS-135, and I wanted something to commemorate the end of the shuttle program - i'm pleased to say this book has fulfilled that need perfectly. Piers Bizony has essentially produced a coffee table photo book that covers each of the missions. Each mission receives a brief bio (dates, crew etc), a very short paragraph on the mission goal, and one to four pages of captioned photographs from the mission. And what photos! The photography in this book is stunning, and all the better for being crisply printed on good quality glossy paper.
It's slightly odd that the book went to press prior to the completion of STS-135 (it contains mission photos from STS-134, but only a ground prep shot for STS-135), but this really is a minor quibble in what is otherwise a photographic tour de force. It's worth noting this is not a detailed in-depth history of the shuttle program - text is wisely kept to a minimum and the photos take center stage. But if you want a stunningly beautiful, pictorial overview that spans the last 30 years of shuttle activity from start to finish, then this is the book to get!