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"United States Space Program Firsts: Robotic & Human Mission Firsts"

Barbara E. Green
NASA Kennedy Space Center Library Archives


....                 Actual size is 11 x 8.5-inches

United States Space Program Firsts: Robotic & Human Mission Firsts

Barbara E. Green
NASA Kennedy Space Center Library Archives

A complete, comprehensive, and detailed summary of United States achievements in space, from the first Bumper V-2 missile launched at Cape Canaveral on 24 July 1950 through the first U.S. military payload to be launched by a Russian-made rocket engine on 17 December 2003.

The book is divided into five sections:

  • Robotic Mission Firsts:  satellites, missiles, and rockets; 1950 - 1986
  • Early Human Spaceflight Firsts:  Projects Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and Apollo Soyuz test project; 1961 - 1975
  • Space Shuttle Firsts:  Space Transportation System; 1977 - 2003
  • Space Station Firsts:  International Space Station; 1998 - 2003
  • Bibliography
Each section has details of the events and mission achievements that made history:
  • First Redstone missile firing
  • First U.S. satellite launching
  • First capsule containing living cargo (Gordo, a squirrel monkey)
  • First world's weather satellite
  • First spacecraft orbited by an all-solid rocket
  • First transmission of TV pictures in space
  • First spacecraft to scan another planet (Venus)
  • First world's satellite to achieve synchronous 24-hour orbit
  • First successful Mars probe
  • First U.S. spacecraft to soft land on the Moon
  • First pictures ever taken of an identifiable man-made object that landed on the Moon
This is an incredible book for rocket, missile, and space historians and enthusiasts.  Page after page has fascinating information about hundreds and hundreds of unusual missions.  You'll read about Alan Shepard's first controlled spaceflight aboard Freedom 7.  The first astronaut to fly in space twice.  The first space walk by an American.

It's perfect for teachers as well.  How many students know who was the first civilian astronaut to fly in space?  When was the first world's rendezvous between two spacecraft?  When was the first live network TV broadcast from space during a crew-assisted flight?  What was the first crew to drink coffee in space?

Do you know what was the first crew to spend Christmas in space?  Who were the first humans to see the far side of the Moon?  The first crew that shaved in space?  The first transmitted color photos of the full Earth with a TV camera?

It's all here.  The first man-made items on the lunar surface.  The first (and only) humans to see the Sun eclipsed by Earth.  The first artificial earthquake.  The first astronaut to wear red racing stripes on his spacesuit.  The first piece of sculpture on the Moon.  The first nighttime launch.  The first barber (and the first haircut) in space--and the first full beard grown in space.  The first "toys in space" experiment.  The first married couple to fly in space together.  The first flight with a female mission commander. 

The book also includes a detailed and lengthy bibliography for further research.

This is a valuable and important reference resource for the professional (and “amateur”) rocket scientist, engineer, technician, historian, and space enthusiast.

Very hard to find and now out-of-print, this new limited edition has been republished by the Rocket Science Institute.  It's sharp, and clearly printed with a high-resolution laser printer (not photocopied) on high-quality, bright-white, 24-pound, acid-free paper for years of reference use.  17 pages, large and easy-to-read 11" x 8-1/2" size, and quality-bound.  $9.95

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