Space Shuttle Stories: Firsthand Astronaut Accounts from All 135 Missions (Hardcover)

Space Shuttle Stories: Firsthand Astronaut Accounts from All 135 Missions By Tom Jones, Wayne Hale (Foreword by) Cover Image

Space Shuttle Stories: Firsthand Astronaut Accounts from All 135 Missions (Hardcover)

By Tom Jones, Wayne Hale (Foreword by)


On Our Shelves Now at:
Politics and Prose at The Wharf (610 Water St SW)
1 on hand, as of Jul 15 6:20pm
Politics and Prose at Union Market (1324 4th Street NE)
1 on hand, as of Jul 15 5:35pm
Experience all 135 NASA space shuttle missions ever flown through the words of the astronauts themselves in this spectacularly illustrated volume

With more than 600 photos from the NASA archives, this guide is perfect for fans of space history and spaceflight

NASA's space shuttle was the world's first reusable spacecraft, accomplishing many firsts and inspiring generations across its 30-year lifespan as America's iconic spaceship. In Space Shuttle Stories, shuttle astronaut Tom Jones interviewed more than 130 fellow astronauts for personal vignettes from each mission, complemented by their written accounts for all 135 space shuttle missions, from Columbia's maiden flight in 1981 to the final launch of Atlantis in 2011. The book is a major contribution to the historical record of a momentous era of spaceflight.

Each mission profile includes:

  • An astronaut narrative that immerses the readers in their personal mission experience
  • Data about the mission, crew, launch, landing, duration, and highlights
  • Captivating photographs rarely seen by the public

The Space Shuttle program’s 6 orbiter vehicles (Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour) carried a total of 355 astronauts into orbit on 135 missions aimed at cutting-edge scientific research, satellite launch, retrieval and repair, collaborative work with the Russian Mir station, the launching and servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the construction of the International Space Station. Space Shuttle Stories focuses on the lived, human experiences of larger-than-life space missions. It's a definitive oral history that captures the importance, wonder, and exhilaration of the Space Shuttle era.
TOM JONES is a veteran astronaut, planetary scientist, pilot, author, and speaker who completed four space shuttle missions and three spacewalks in helping build the International Space Station. Jones has authored six books, including Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir, and has written for aerospace magazines such as Air & Space Smithsonian, Aerospace America, Popular Mechanics, and The Planetary Report. A senior research scientist for IHMC, he appears regularly on television news as an expert commentator for space exploration and science stories.
Product Details ISBN: 9781588347541
ISBN-10: 1588347540
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
Publication Date: October 31st, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English
"From the trepidation and elation surrounding the first shuttle flights to the melancholy pride that covered the final flight of the space shuttle Atlantis, each mission is described with tantalizing details. [...] This delightful compilation of facts, figures, and photography will thrill and educate readers with an interest in the realities of American space travel."


"One significant appeal of this book are the many high-quality, full-color photographs: every mission crew and dozens of stunning shots of the shuttle in use. This is an excellent recommendation for fans of the space shuttle and anyone interested in the U.S. space program."

Space Shuttle Stories is a great collection of crew reflections for all of the 135 space shuttle missions over three decades. Working on the vehicle design that demonstrated unique capabilities of delivery, retrieval, repair, and construction on orbit was a highlight of my career, and this book is a worthy tribute to that era of space travel.” —Fred W. Haise, Enterprise Commander, Apollo 13 astronaut, and author of Never Panic Early

“Astronaut Tom Jones provides readers of all ages with a definitive look into the spirit, challenges, enjoyment, and faith that accompanies Earth-orbit exploration. Space Shuttle Stories takes us inside the lives, the risks, and the dedication of those men and women who are reaching for the stars.” —Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and geologist

Space Shuttle Stories, by former NASA astronaut Tom Jones, is the ultimate account of the space shuttle program from the people who lived it. Different aspects of every one of the 135 missions are presented in vivid detail by crew members from each flight. With incredible technical detail and stunning photos, this book is a must-have for serious space enthusiasts and casual fans alike.” —Scott Kelly, retired NASA astronaut and US Navy Captain

“Climb aboard the space shuttle and join the crew for the ride of your life. From my console in Mission Control, I counted the seconds until liftoff, felt the jolt of 7 million pounds of thrust, sweated-out Max-Q and solid rocket booster separation, and breathed a sigh of relief once the shuttle reached orbit. Space shuttle missions were all business and I never relaxed, but during the pad tests and simulations, we had the opportunity to talk, banter, and breathe—similar to what’s shared in Space Shuttle Stories. Each of the stand-alone stories provide lighthearted anecdotes of a vastly different side of the crew than the one I experienced while working with them during the mission. Recommended reading!” —Gene Kranz, former NASA Director of Mission Operations and author of Failure Is Not an Option