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Book Review:  To Rise From Earth

Reviewed by: Susan Raizer
Title: To Rise From Earth:
An Easy-to-Understand Guide to Spaceflight, 2nd Edition

Author: Wayne Lee
Format: Paperback
Pages: 317
Publisher: Checkmark Books
Date: 1999
ISBN: 0816040923

To Rise from Earth: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to Spaceflight is an in-depth, straight- forward, visually pleasing description of all aspects of spaceflight, beginning with a concise presentation of orbits and rockets and the early history that energized and propelled us into space. The book progresses through all of the US manned and unmanned space programs, including every mission of Project Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Apollo-Soyuz, Skylab and the Shuttle, culminating in the projects that will bring greater understanding of the planets and beyond. Each program is described in a manner that provides the reader with a clear understanding of how each of the craft were constructed and flown, the policies and procedures that had to be created, along with the history and players for each program and the sciences and technologies that made each program a success.

This is the second edition of the book; the book was originally published in 1995. The author has been able to include more recent spaceflight history, including the birth and early construction of the International Space Station.

The author, a mission planner at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California (he is the one in the American flag shirt during the landing of the Mars Spirit Rover!), has provided, using photographs, charts, diagrams and tables, an excellent source for the teaching of all of the American and Russian (formerly the U.S.S.R.) space programs. I have utilized the book on numerous occasions to provide information and graphics as handouts and for lectures to groups in my role as a docent-trainer at an aerospace museum on Long Island, New York. I have also used the book as a valid source for papers and projects for my current Master’s program in Space Studies.

I thoroughly recommend the book to anyone who wants a concise, easy-to-follow source for space flight history.

© 2006 Susan Raizer

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