This book tells the remarkable story of space exploration from the early twentieth century to the present, with compelling coverage--including a wealth of illustrations--of every US space mission ever undertaken, including those of projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, and the development of the Space Shuttle. The exciting story is brought right up to the present by explaining the function of NASA's two windows in space: the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. This book is the first illustrated history of NASA--the National Aeronautics and Space Administration--ever to be published. It underlines the personalities involved--the personal ambitions and temperaments of astronauts, pilots, scientists and engineers, and the influence of America's presidents on the country's space program--as much as the technological advances that have made space exploration possible. It is authoritatively and engagingly written, and profusely illustrated throughout with 500 stunning photographs.