Deep Space: The NASA Mission Reports : Apogee Books Space Series 48 (Apogee Books Space Series)
by Robert Godwin
Review by Paul Haggerty
Collector's Guide Publishing Inc Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 1894959159
Date: 28 April, 2005 List Price $34.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
The book covers all the unmanned probes starting with Pioneer 10 back in 1972 and runs up to the probes currently still on their way to their objectives, and a few that still haven't left the ground. And as with all books concerning science, there are a few bits and pieces that are already in need of updating despite the book being technically only a few months old. Cassini/Huygens has already arrived at Saturn and stunned the world with sights never even dreamed of before. And Deep Impact, which is located in the "Future Deep Space Missions" section has already been launched, traveled to its target and, true to its name, impacted.
The wealth of information in the book is captivating. Along with the time-lines for the missions are diagrams of the probes and their instruments, initial data reports, photographs and, in some cases, discussions of things that went wrong, and how the teams of technicians and scientists on the ground managed to fix hardware problems by remote control, unable to touch the actual hardware half a solar system away.
This is a great book for space enthusiasts to have on the shelf for reference. Not only does it tell you what the current state of information on the solar system is, but it also the changing nature of the knowledge over the last few decades. It's both science and history all covered in family snapshots.