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Rocket science in plain language, from Haynes

NASA Space Shuttle Owners' Workshop Manual 1981 onwards (all models)
April 2011
Dr David Baker
Out Now

It is 50 years since the first ever manned space mission (12 April 1961) and as the Shuttle makes its final flights before retirement later this year, Haynes has produced a manual for the NASA Space Shuttle.

This remarkable machine - part spacecraft, part glider - is the world's first re-usable space craft, designed not only to conquer the final frontier, but to make it a part of the human realm.

Author Dr David Baker, who worked with NASA for 25 years, has given the Shuttle the classic Haynes Manual treatment in a new book published to mark the 30th anniversary of its first mission (12 April 1981).

The NASA Space Shuttle Owners' Workshop Manual includes the full story of the Shuttle, its design, construction and operation, supported by more than 250 photographs, technical diagrams and explanations.

Published to mark the 30th anniversary of the Shuttle's first mission (12 April 1981), the NASA Space Shuttle Owners' Workshop Manual also outlines the historical context of this ingenious creation - part spacecraft, part glider, designed not only to conquer the final frontier, but to make it a part of the human realm. The USA's Shuttle programme was the one Cold War space project that forged an inseparable link with the giant Russian space programme after the collapse of communism. These global superpowers came together for the first time, uniting in their dream to make routine space travel a reality. At its peak more than 50,000 people were working on the Shuttle programme.

Changes in political and financial courses through the spacecraft's 30-year journey, along with two tragic losses of craft and crew, have seen the Shuttle and the organisation that created it significantly change direction, all of which is chronicled in this manual.

The Shuttle's internal layout and systems are explained in full including the operation of life support, electrical power production, cooling, propulsion, flight control, communications, landing and avionics.

Life on board is also described in detail, outlining how astronauts live with weightlessness, tethering themselves to equipment in order to perform daily tasks. Everything from the division of housekeeping duties to personal hygiene provisions and routines is included. Eating in space offers unique challenges and the manual lists the specifically designed kit, such as food trays with Velcro strips to attach them to the knee, and magnetic strips to keep cups, cutlery, and condiments within reach.

The Shuttle has been the 'space ferry' for the International Space Station, providing the heavy lifting capability to build the world's biggest research facility in orbit. Flying at 12 times the speed of Concorde, the Shuttle has launched the Hubble Telescope, giving humans stunning views of the universe back in time.

Thanks to the Shuttle missions, the possibility of creating new vaccines in the weightlessness of space has been opened up. New semi-conductor crystals have been grown five times bigger than they could on earth. And medical experiments on astronauts' bodies have resulted in innovative treatments now applied in hospitals around the world.

Haynes' NASA Space Shuttle Owners' Workshop Manual pays homage to an ingenious creation that has pioneered the way ordinary people can live and work in space.

About the Author

Dr David Baker worked with NASA on the Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle programmes between 1965 and 1990. He has written more than 80 books on spaceflight technology and is a former editor of Jane's Spaceflight Directory. He lives in Sussex.

The information on this page is supplied courtesy of Haynes Publishing, please credit accordingly if you intend to use it. For more information or to request a review copy please contact Spirit PR on 0117 944 1415 or email Haynes PR

Haynes Manuals is the world's leading publisher of illustrated workshop car and motorcycle manuals, as well as producing manuals on a wide range of DIY, leisure and lifestyle subjects. These will continue to include motoring and motorsport related subjects. Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7JJ. Telephone: 01963 440635 Fax: 01963 440001 E-mail: