USA in Space, Third Edition

At A Glance

3 Volumes
2,076 Pages
280 Essays; 42 New
450 Illustrations
Key Figures  Added to Essays
Updated Bibliographies
Chronology of the US Program
Biographical Appendix
List of Abbreviations
Space Shuttle Missions
Web Sites
Category List of Contents
Personages Index
Subject Index

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Revision Details

42 new essays
5 completely replaced essays
233 updated essays
Key Figures added
280 bibliographies updated and annotated
Chronology of the US Space Program (expanded 51%)
Key Figures (expanded 69%)
Glossary (expanded 25%)
Space Shuttle Missions (new appendix)
World Wide Web Pages (expanded 43%)


This is a thorough reference of interest to students and members of the industry seeking detailed knowledge of various aspects of the space program as well as historians who need a place to begin.
SciTech Book News

This is not a lavish, color photo set astounding us with breathtaking space views, but it is an extremely substantive set for the serious researcher. The set is definitely for the high school student and is highly recommended.
Reference for Students

...much of this information would be hard or impossible for students to obtain elsewhere, and for libraries that already own previous editions, the changes are substantial enough to justify replacement.
School Library Journal 

These thick volumes are essential for any library with technological or historical holdings. They are a significant update of the 1996 edition, with dozens of new essays and photographs. Historians will find these volumes interesting, as will scientists and engineers.
American Reference  
Books Annual, 2002

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" excellent tool suitable
for schools, colleges, & public libraries."

Gale Group  
Lawrence Looks at Books

Editor: Russell R. Tobias
& David G. Fisher,

Lycoming College

January 2006 · 3 volume
2,076 pages · 8"x10"

ISBN: 978-1-58765-259-2
# of Pages: 2076
# of Volumes: 3
Print List Price: $331

USA in Space, 3rd Edition
Provides historical and current, detailed data on all major US and joint US-foreign space missions since the 1940's.

USA in Space collects 280 essays on the major space programs, piloted and robotic missions, satellites, space centers, space planes, and issues from the earliest missions to the present. The many changes in the space program over the past half decade made a careful reading of every page necessary to ensure the content's accuracy. USA in Space, Third Edition updates theSecond Edition (3 vols., 2001) with 42 new essays plus 5 replaced essays for a total of 280 essays. The editors - longtime historian of the space program Russell R. Tobias, joined in this edition by David G. Fisher, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania - carefully pored over all the old essays, revising and often adding paragraphs of material to bring the text up to date. All bibliographies have been expanded with annotated citations to the latest sources for fuller information and background.

Scope and Coverage
Coverage in the third edition reflects both new missions and corrections to and expansions upon previous ones. The scope of space exploration history has been extended at both ends: Two essays on the history of rocket science have been added, as well as the latest missions--both piloted missions such as the International Space Station and science probe missions such as Deep Impact.

The new essay on Space Shuttle Mission STS-107 (2003), in which seven astronauts tragically lost their lives aboard the orbiter Columbia upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere, is accompanied by candid discussion of the institutional conditions that may have contributed to the accident as well as consideration of the direction in which space exploration is headed. The latest essay covers the return to space, Space Shuttle Mission STS-114, in August of 2005. In addition, several essays address missions that have yet to be launched but have already undergone years of planning and development.

Despite the title USA in Space, the increasingly international nature of space exploration is acknowledged here as well. The International Space Station, Russia's Soyuz and Progress spacecraft, and the contributions of Canada, Japan, China, India, and many European nations in spacecraft, science expriments, equipment, and personnel are well represented among these pages.

Organization and Format
Articles are arranged in alphabetical order by key word, and by chronological order within groupings. Hence, the reader will find articles on the Apollo missions under "A" in volume 1; space shuttle missions are covered under "Space Shuttle." Within these groups the missions are ordered chronologically. Explorer satellites from mission 1 through Solar Explorers are covered under "Explorers," although those Explorer missions with distinctive names, such as the International Ultraviolet Explorer, will be found alphabetically.

Each article retains the familiar Magill approach to formatting information in a predictable manner to facilitate access to the information. Essays are substantial in length, ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 words. 

Finding Aids and Special Features
At the beginning of each volume we have placed the List of Abbreviations, now expanded by more than one-third its previous length; it includes common acronyms (and their pronunciations if uttered as words) and what they stand for. The List of Illustrations arranges photographs alphabetically by topic, accompanied by page numbers. A Complete List of Contents appears in each volume's front matter in addition to the volume's Table of Contents, to assist those looking for a related topic without access to its volume. Finally, the "Category List" in each volume's front matter arranges the essays by type, from Aerospace Agencies to Spaceports.

To link related essays, we have added a new feature to each essay: "See also" cross-references to other essays in the set. Those who consult the essay on SpaceShipOne, for example, should be aware of the fact that the Ansari X Prize is covered separately. 

A total of 450 black-and-white photographs provide readers with images of what is described in accompanying essays.

Thought-Provoking Questions
Who placed the American flag on the Moon? See Apollo 11
Did life exist on Mars? See Mars Exploration Rovers
How did GPS originate? See Global Positioning System
Which cartoon characters gave their names to Martian rocks? See
   Mars Pathfinder
Which president set the goal for humans to land on the Moon? See Apollo
Who performed the first "spacewalk"? See Extravehicular Activity
When will tourists get to take a trip to space? See Ansari X Prize
How do people eat and sleep in weightlessness? See International Space
   Station: Living and Working Accommodations