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-Title: Relics of the Space Race. A Concise Reference to the Pioneering Days of Manned Spaceflight, The People, Places, and Artifacts.
Russell F. Still.
PR Products.
B/W photos and graphics.
-Publication Date:
-ISBN: ?

Front Cover


In the second half of the 20th century, the human species took its initial tettering steps away from the safety of planet Earth. For the first time in 6.5 billion years, organisms from our planet experienced a gravity which originated primarily from another world. Through the brute force of high technology, they overcame the most hostile environment ever confronted. They ventured further from home than any living being had ever gone before. These were our pioneering footsteps and our world has been transformed by them. It has certainly been the most astonishing half century in the history of mankind.

This book documents the background of our aerospace heritage. The enthusiast will find it a quick reference for a variety of details. It provides all the information needed in a single volume. The collector will find it the most complete source of information on the artifacts of spaceflight ever compiled. Much of the information is presented here for the first time. Dozens of people from contractor representatives, to ground support personnel, to mission controllers, to the astronauts themselves have assisted in creating this fascinating chronicle. It is living history.

(Extracted from the back cover).



-Table of Contents.
-The Cast of Characters.
-Who Are These People?
-Some Important Firsts.
-Early Background of Rocketry.
-The X-Planes.
-X-1A, X-1B, X-1D.
-Project Mercury.
-Project Gemini.
-Project Apollo.
-Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.
-The Soviet Space Program.
-Early Soyuz.
-The Apollo-Soyuz Test Program.
-Salyut-6 and 7.
-The Space Shuttle.
-STS Design.
-Flight Testing the Shuttle.
-Launch Profile.
-The Shuttle Takes Wing.
-Single Stage to Orbit: Two Approaches.
-The International Space Station.
-Overview of Collectable Items and Collecting.
-Archival Considerations.
-Mechanically Reproduced Signatures.
-Printed Signatures.
-A Matter of Value.
-Popular Signed Items.
-A Summary of Signing Practices.
-NASA Emblems and Patches.
-Badges and Passes.
-U.S. Postal Stamps and Covers.
-First Day Covers.
-Event Covers.
-Contractor Covers.
-Insurance Covers.
-Official NASA Event Covers.
-Recovery Ship Covers.
-Flown and Autographed Covers.
-The Apollo-15 Covers.
-The STS-8 Covers.
-The STS-68 Stamps.
-Russian Postal Stams and Covers.
-Flown Currency.
-Coins and Medallions.
-The Franklin Mint.
-The Robbins Medallions.
-The NASA/Apollo-8 Medallions.
-The NASA/Apollo-11 Medallions.
-The NASA/Skylab Medallions.
-The NASA/ASTP Medallions.
-Appendix A -The First 100 Travelers.
-Appendix B -Summary of United States Astronauts.
-Appendix C - U.S. Manned Mission Summaries: 1961-1975.
-Appendix D - U.S. Space Shuttle Crew Assignments.
-Appendix E - Summary of Russian Flown Cosmonauts.
-Appendix F - Russian Crew Assignments.
-Appendix G - U.S. Space Centers.
-Appendix H - U.S. Launch Vehicles.
-Appendix I - Selected Magazines with Space Cover Stories.
-Appendix J - Catalog of U.S. Space-related Postal Stamps.
-Appendix K - Books Written by Astroanuts and Cosmonauts.



It is easy, while re-reading the index of this book, to understand that it is mainly aimed at the many collectors who have focused their interests and studies in manned space flight. Therefore, the book not only documents everything they have to know about their main hobby, but also it devotes half its pages to describing in a summarized way the whole history of the manned flights. Only in this way can we fully benefit from many hours devoted to a full-time, tireless research, making contacts and getting rare items which may happen to be hard to find as well.

Obviously, whoever looks for a detailed history of the manned missions should use a more complete work in this sense, yet for those who do not wish to enter this topic with a too thorough read, this book will suffice and besides, it has the added benefit that it opens a new world for those who had never thought of collecting anything related to space. Although its description of the Soviet manned program is in a way traditional and does not take into account the elements of the moon program of this nation - the vehicles L-1, LOK and LK -, we imagine that its objective is to give a mere general view of the official missions. Therefore, we can consider the initiative by Russell Still as a very interesting one, and the advice he gives us is very useful to initiate or even increase our collections of stamps, autographs, commemorative medallions, etc. This second aspect not only turns out to be original, but also it is difficult to find another work dealing with it. Moreover, the Appendixes contribute to making this book into a very fine addition to our library.


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