In spite of the Challenger and Columbia disasters, the US Space Shuttle, which entered service in 1981, remains the most successful spacecraft ever developed. Conceived and designed as a reusable spacecraft to provide cheap access to low Earth orbit, and to supersede expendable launch vehicles, serving as the National Space Transportation System, it now coexists with a new range of commercial rockets. David Harland's definitive work on the Space Shuttle explains the scientific contribution the Space Shuttle has made to the international space programme, detailing missions to Mir, Hubble and more recently its role in the assembly of the International Space Station. This substantial revision to existing chapters and extension of `The Space Shuttle', following the loss of Columbia, will include a comprehensive account of the run-up to resumption of operations and conclude with a chapter beyond the Shuttle, looking at possible future concepts for a partly or totally reusable space vehicle which are being considered to replace the Shuttle.
From the reviews:
"As the space shuttle returns to flight for what will probably be its final series of missions, this book provides a comprehensive (400 pages) history of this 'workhouse' of the American space programme. ... A number of well-reproduced black and white photographs illustrate some of the highlights of the shuttle's missions. Two useful appendices - a shuttle mission log and list of acronyms - round out the book. ... this book is good value and deserves a place on every space enthusiast's bookshelf." (Nick Quinn, Astronomy Now, September, 2005)
"This is another book from David Harland and Springer Praxis that deals with the scientific contribution the Shuttle has made to space travel. It lists the missions under type such as DoD, microgravity, Shuttle Mir, ISS and Communications Satellites, amongst others. ... This approach is very good and Harland writes in a very informative and readable style. ... The book ... has some useful appendices. A recommended book for those who like to have at hand details of individual mission and their achievements." (Rex Hall, Spaceflight, Vol. 47 (5), May, 2005)
"The US Space Shuttle, which entered service in 1981, was conceived as a reusable spacecraft ... . The Story of the Space Shuttle explains the scientific contribution that it has made to the international space programme, focusing on the Shuttle's utility ... . Each chapter is devoted to a specific type of operation, and the missions are discussed in this context. ... David Harland provides the definitive work about this amazing project." (Praxis Publishing - Bookman, November, 2004)