One of the captions in America in Space: NASA's First Fifty Years, tells readers that Photography was not a priority for NASA in the beginning, so while becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn snapped photos using a camera he'd picked up in a drug store. That approach didn't last, as the astronauts began using Hasselblad cameras during their flights. The improved equipment, combined with an effort to document history in the making, accounts for the stunning photographs in this coffee table book treatment of America's forays into space. Among the stunning images are an inverted space shuttle parked in orbit; NASA's second group of astronauts (the New Nine) in Lawrence of Arabia-inspired gear during desert survival training; the Mercury 7 in shiny suits of aluminized nylon; Apollo 13 astronauts Jack Swigert and Fred Haise holding an improvised scrubber while stuck in space; the interior of a Gemini capsule through a fish-eye lens; and Challenger exploding soon after launch. While the text of this book is informative, the photos speak volumes.

comments powered by Disqus