Packed cover to cover with color and black and white photography and forwarded by Buzz Aldrin, this is a comprehensive visual celebration of NASA’s 50th anniversary. From its roots in the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics with the hard lessons learned during Chuck Yeager’s test flights of the X-1 aircraft and Project Mercury, NASA began working toward manned missions. Mariners 9 and 10 heralded an age of planetary missions, their success rivaling that of the Apollo projects and started NASA on the road to Mars. Documenting the tension-filled flight of Apollo 13, the Columbia shuttle tragedy and others as well as the successes including Spirit and Opportunity’s amazing venture across the Martian surface, this is a balanced look at the U.S. space program.Gron provides a fascinating, behind the scenes look at every space mission undertaken by the U.S. and a peek at what might be in the future making for a well-rounded guide to the American space program. More then another coffee table book, this is sure to grab the attention of anyone with a sense of wonder.