SPACE SCIENCE AND ASTRONOMY: Escape from Earth by Thornton & Lou Williams Page--Eds. Page


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It is timely, given the Viking Lander successes, that this ninth and last volume of articles in Sky and Telescope's Library of Astronomy should be devoted to the newest subfield, space science. October 4, 1957, the date Sputnik was launched into orbit, can be taken as its birthdate. Now, barely two decades later, this review of what has happened since reads like an exciting and sometimes tragic log of voyages of discovery. Most of the articles are brief--often news stories--presented with prefatory remarks or transitional paragraphs by the editors. The arrangement is chronological within selected topics, e.g., lunar landings, planetary probes, X-ray astronomy, spacelabs. Photos, diagrams, summaries of findings, tables of chronologies, brief biographies, a glossary, and an appendix of units and measures are also provided. Sky and Telescope is a serious magazine for dedicated amateurs, and this sets a level of comprehension that neither obfuscates nor condescends. To read of the courage and accomplishments of space scientists, to sense that the trend is toward international cooperation rather than competition, is an exhilarating antidote to the daily earthly news.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1976