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Man in Space


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From the pages of Life magazine comes this spectacular tribute to the history of man’s exploration beyond our own planet, from 1957 when the Soviet Union stunned the West with the successful launch of Sputnik I to the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia upon re-entry in February 2003. The first successfully used rockets were Hitler’s V-2 weapons. When the first V-2 hit London, designer Wernher von Braun told a friend that it worked perfectly – “except for landing on the wrong planet”. The possibilities for rockets were immediately clear, and with the advent of the Cold War the space race was on, with both the Soviets and the US jockeying for position. As we all know, the Soviets had most of the initial success, but the ultimate prize, a man on the moon, went to the States, and although the SU, then Russia, had much more success with their Space Stations Salyut and Mir than the US’s Skylab, but then – two tragedies notwithstanding – the Space Shuttle stole the show as the first reusable spacecraft. The thrill of space travel has gripped the world.

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Time, Inc.


Various Authors