Book Review: NASA Space Shuttle Owner's Workshop Manual

A new edition of NASA Space Shuttle Owner's Workshop Manual has been released. Image Credit: Zenith Press

It’s natural that at the end of some point in history for recollections, compilations and other nostalgic looks back to be published. Sometimes older works are reproduced with new information enclosed; such is the case with NASA Space Shuttle Owner’s Workshop Manual. This book was released previously but a fresh, new version of the old classic is out again and it contains new (very new) information in a detailed, yet concise manner that makes it a must have for followers of the shuttle program.

Produced by Zenith Press, this newly-updated version will set readers back $28 – but it is well worth the price given the high quality of what the book contains. Other books drown readers in details that might not be needed for those looking for a brief overview of the vehicle’s design, abilities and requirements – this book avoids all that while still ensuring that readers have everything they need to understand the programs importance.

With modern imagery and text reflective of the program’s long history, the book encapsulates all of the accomplishments that the vehicle’s design allowed to become a reality. The book uses very current information, so much so that it mentions the shooting of U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords which took place this past January.

The book is not very long, all total it runs a mere 196 pages total, giving the reader a concise history of the shuttle program’s milestones, its contributions, the setbacks of the Challenger and Columbia disasters as well as other aspects both known and unforeseen of the vehicle’s overall design. Although the book is relatively short, it covers the rationale behind why the space shuttle was designed the way that it was, how the spacecraft launches, flies and lands as well as numerous other facets that comprised the space shuttles’ history.

Written by Dr. David Baker and published by Zenith Press, the book retails for $28 and is well worth the price. With only two flights left before the shuttles are sent to their final resting places in museums and theme parks around the nation this book will make for a great memento of the vehicle that placed the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit, that helped build the International Space Station and that has been the focal point of U.S. human space efforts for the past thirty years.

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