NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Centers & Offices
Human Spaceflight
Space Biology
Space Policy
Space Science

Click here for Advanced Search options.
home  history  technology  people  chronology  images  links  further reading 
Toward a History of the Space Shuttle
A Baker's Dozen of Important Books
Selective Shuttle Bibliography
Toward a History of the Space Shuttle, an extensive annotated bibliography pertaining to the Space Shuttle program.
A Baker's Dozen of Important Books on the History of the Space Shuttle, by Roger Launius.
Cooper, Henry S. F. Before Lift-off: The Making of a Space Shuttle Crew. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987. This book presents a fine discussion of the selection and training of crews for individual Shuttle missions. Written in a journalistic style without scholarly apparatus, it is an excellent first-person account of the 1984 mission of STS-41G.
Grey, Jerry. Enterprise. New York: William Morrow and Co., 1979. This is a popularly written book on the decision, development, and test of the early Space Shuttle, the Orbiter 101, named for the Star Trek craft Enterprise. Written for a popular market, it is a fast-moving story emphasizing anecdotes, without scholarly apparatus.
Harland, David M. The Space Shuttle: Roles, Missions and Accomplishments. Chicester, England: Wiley-Praxis, 1998. One of the more sophisticated histories of the Space Shuttle to appear.
Heppenheimer, T. A. The Space Shuttle Decision: NASA's Search for a Reusable Space Vehicle. Washington, DC: NASA SP-4221, 1999. A full-length, scholarly history of the decision to develop the Space Shuttle.
Jenkins, Dennis R. Space Shuttle: The History of the National Space Transportation System, the First 100 Missions. North Branch, MN: Speciality Press, 2001, 3rd Edition. By far the best technical history of the Space Shuttle, presenting an overview of the vehicle's development and use.
Joels, Kerry Mark, and Greg Kennedy. Space Shuttle Operator's Manual. New York: Ballantine Books, 1986 edition. One of the better popularly oriented illustrated histories, this work also describes the origins and development of the Space Shuttle.
Lewis, Richard S. The Last Voyage of Challenger. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988. In a follow-on to his Voyages of Columbia, this book presents, in a large-size format with many illustrations, the story of the tragic loss of Challenger in 1986.
Lewis, Richard S. The Voyages of Columbia: The First True Spaceship. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984. Taking as its theme the idea that the Shuttle is the first true spaceship (it can be reused and makes access to space more routine) this combination scholarly/popular book is a good rendition of the development and use of the Columbia orbiter. A large-format, well written book, this work has numerous photographs and illustrations, as well as scholarly notes. There is much discussion of development and testing, procedures for operations such as solid-rocket booster use and recovery, and a detailed account of each mission. Probably the best book of its type, its focus and theme are limited to a single orbiter and its role in the space program.
McConnell, Malcolm. Challenger: A Major Malfunction. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co., 1987. This book is one of several exposees of NASA's Shuttle development and operations management that appeared following the Challenger accident.
Smith, Melvyn. An Illustrated History of the Space Shuttle. Sommerset, England: Haynes Pub. Group, 1985. This large-sized picture book is oriented toward satisfying the popular market. Almost half of it is concerned with earlier high-speed, high-altitude flight as a means of paving the way for the Shuttle. It recites and publishes photographs of early aircraft such as the X-1, the X-15, and lifting body studies before going into a discussion of the Shuttle. This discussion focuses on the technological development of the orbiter, especially the test and evaluation. A chapter is then devoted to each of the Shuttle orbiters built, dealing with their procurement, construction, test and evaluation, and mission performance. There is a useful set of appendices discussing each of the X-15, M2F2, HL-10, X-24, M2F3, and Shuttle flights. There are no references.
Stockton, William, and John Noble Wilford. Spaceliner: Report on Columbia's Voyage into Tomorrow. New York: Times Books, 1981. This is a popular discussion of the development and flight of the first Shuttle mission, Columbia, in 1981. It is heavy on fast-paced narrative and anecdotes and light on documentation. It keeps the human element of the story in the forefront, and while there is some discussion of technological developments, those are certainly subservient to the good story the authors try to tell.
Trento, Joseph J., with reporting and editing by Susan B. Trento. Prescription for Disaster: From the Glory of Apollo to the Betrayal of the Shuttle. New York: Crown Publishers, 1987. Not truly an investigation of the Challenger accident, this book is an in-depth review of the NASA management and R&D system, emphasizing the Agency's "fall from grace" after the Apollo program.
Vaughan, Diane. The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. The first thorough scholarly study of the events leading to the fateful decision to launch Challenger in January 1986, this book uses sociological and communication theory to piece together the story of America's worst disaster in spaceflight and to analyze the nature of risk in high technology enterprises.
Toward a History of the Space Shuttle | A Baker's Dozen of Important Books | selective Shuttle bibliography
A selective Shuttle bibliography Focused on its Development, by Steve Garber.
Banks, Jeffrey S. "The Space Shuttle," in Linda R. Cohen and Roger G. Noll, editors, The Technology Pork Barrel. Washington: Brookings Institution, 1991.
Barfield, Claude E. "Technology Report/Intense Debate, Cost Cutting Precede White House Decision to Back Shuttle Critics' Attacks," National Journal (12 August 1972): 1289-99.
Barfield, Claude E. "Technology Report/NASA Broadens Defense of Space Shuttle to Counter Critics' Attacks," National Journal (19 August 1972): 1323-32.
Braun, Wernher von. "The Reusable Space Transport," American Scientist 60 (November/December 1972): 730-38.
Bromberg, Joan Lisa. NASA and the Space Industry. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press New Series in NASA History, 1999.
Collingridge, David. "Technology Organizations and Incrementalism: The Space Shuttle," Technology Analysis and Strategic Management 2, No.2 (1990).
Collins, Michael. Liftoff: The Story of America's Adventure in Space (New York: NASA and Grove Press, 1988).
Cooper, Henry S. F. "Annals of Space: We Don't Have to Prove Ourselves," The New Yorker (2 September 1991): 41-69.
Cooper, Henry S. F. "A Reporter At Large: Shuttle-II," The New Yorker (16 February 1981): 65-113.
DeBlois, Bruce M., editor Beyond the Paths of Heaven: The Emergence of Space Power Thought, A Comprehensive Anthology of Space-Related Master's Research. Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press, 1999.
Draper, Alfred C., Melvin L. Buck, and William H. Goesch. "A Delta Shuttle Orbiter," Astronautics and Aeronautics (January 1971): 26-35.
Dunar, Andrew J., and Stephen P. Waring. Power to Explore: A History of Marshall Space Flight Center, 1960-1990, NASA SP-4313, 1999. Includes a useful chapter on Shuttle development.
Faget, Max. "Space Shuttle: A New Configuration," Astronautics and Aeronautics (January 1970): 52-61.
Fletcher, James C. "Are Skylab and the Space Shuttle Worth the Investment?" Government Executive (January 1974): 38-42.
Gillette, Robert. "Space Shuttle: Compromise Version Still Faces Opposition," Science 175 (28 January 1972): 392-96.
Guilmartin, John F., and John Walker Mauer. A Shuttle Chronology, 1964-1973, 5 volumes. Houston: Johnson Space Center, 1988.
Hall, R. Cargill, and Jacob Neufeld, editors The U.S. Air Force in Space: 1945 to the 21st Century. Washington: USAF History and Museums Program, 1998.
Hallion, Richard P. "The Path to Space Shuttle: The Evolution of Lifting Reentry Technology," Journal of the British Interplanetary Society 30 (December 1983): 523-41.
Hallion, Richard P. "The Space Shuttle's Family Tree," Air and Space Smithsonian (April/May 1991): 44-46.
Hallion, Richard P., and James O. Young. "Space Shuttle: Fulfillment of a Dream," in Richard P. Hallion, editor, The Hypersonic Revolution, Volume II, Case VIII. Bolling Air Force Base, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, 1998.
Hansen, James R. "Transition to Space: A History of 'Spaceplane' Concepts at Langley Aeronautical Laboratory 1952-1957," Journal of the British Interplanetary Society 40, No. 2 (February 1987): 67-80.
Harland, David M. The Space Shuttle: Roles, Missions, and Accomplishments. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons with Praxis Publishing, 1998.
Henry, R. C., and Aubrey B. Sloan. "Air Force Review: The Space Shuttle and Vandenberg Air Force Base," Air University Review (September-October 1976): 19-26.
Heppenheimer, T. A. The Space Shuttle Decision: NASA's Search for a Reusable Space Vehicle. Washington, DC: NASA SP-4221, 1999.
Hudock, Robert P. "Space Shuttle: Ready for the Down Payment?" Astronautics and Aeronautics (August 1971): 6-9.
Hunter, Maxwell W., II, Wayne F. Miller, and Robert M. Gray. "The Space Shuttle Will Cut Payload Costs," Astronautics and Aeronautics 10 (June 1972): 50-58.
Jeffs, George W. "The Space Shuttle: Its Interdisciplinary Design and Construction," Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 4 (September 1979): 208-38.
Jenkins, Dennis R. Space Shuttle: The History of Developing the National Space Transportation System, The Beginning Through STS-75. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company, 1997.
Johnson, Roger W., Carl S. Jund, and William J. Niemann. "Advanced Space Programs: Transition to the Space Shuttle," Astronautics and Aeronautics (September 1976).
Johnson, Thomas H. "The Natural History of the Space Shuttle," Technology in Society 10 (1988): 417-24.
Kloman, Erasmus H. "NASA Organization and Management from 1961 to 1965: The Vision and the Reality," Issues in NASA Program and Project Management (Autumn 1989): 35-43.
Launius, Roger D. "NASA and the Decision to Build the Space Shuttle, 1969-72," The Historian 57 (August 1994): 17-34.
Lewis, Richard S. The Voyages of Columbia: The First True Spaceship. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984.
Logsdon, John M. "The Decision to Develop the Space Shuttle," Space Policy 2 (May 1986): 103-19.
Logsdon, John, Dwayne A. Day, and Roger D. Launius, editors, Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program, Volume II: External Relationships. Washington, DC: NASA SP-4407, 1996.
Logsdon, John, et al., editors, Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program, Volume IV: Accessing Space. Washington, DC: NASA SP-4407, 1999.
Logsdon, John M. "The Space Shuttle Decision: Technology and Political Choice," Journal of Contemporary Business 7 (1978): 13-30.
Logsdon, John M. "The Space Shuttle Program: A Policy Failure?" Science 232 (30 May 1986): 1099-1105.
Love, Eugene S. "Von Karman Lecture: Advanced Technology and the Space Shuttle," AIAA Paper No. 73, American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics 9th Annual Meeting and Technical Display, 8-10 January 1973.
Mandell, Humboldt C. "Management and Budget Lessons: The Space Shuttle Program," Issues in NASA Program and Project Management (Autumn 1989): 44-48.
Mark, Hans. "The Impact of our Enterprise in Space," Technology in Society 1 (1979): 43-53.
Mark, Hans. The Space Station: A Personal Journey. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1987.
McCurdy, Howard E. Inside NASA: High Technology and Organizational Change in the U.S. Space Program. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press New Series in NASA History, 1993.
McCurdy, Howard E. Space and the American Imagination. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997.
Miller, Ron. The Dream Machines: A Pictorial History of the Spaceship in Art, Science, and Literature. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Company, 1993.
Mihara, Robert. "The Space Shuttle Versus Expendable Launch Vehicles: Lessons for the Future?" Air War College Research Report, 1988, available from the Defense Technical Information Center.
Myers, Dale D. "The Shuttle: A Balancing of Design and Politics," Issues in NASA Program and Project Management (Spring 1992): 42-48.
"NASA in Trouble with Congress, Executive, Scientists," Nature 231, No. 5302 (11 June 1971): 346-48.
Peebles, Curtis. High Frontier: The United States Air Force and the Military Space Program. Washington, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, 1997.
Peebles, Curtis. "The Origins of the U.S. Space Shuttle-1," Spaceflight 21 (November 1979): 435-42.
Peebles, Curtis. "The Origins of the U.S. Space Shuttle-2," Spaceflight 21 (December 1979): 487-92.
Reed, R. Dale. Wingless Flight: The Lifting Body Story. Washington, DC: NASA SP-4220, 1997.
Roland, Alex. "The Shuttle: Triumph or Turkey?" Discover (November 1985): 14-24.
Rubenstein, S. Z. "Managing Projects: An Industry View," Issues in NASA Program and Project Management (Autumn 1989): 13-23.
Salkeld, Robert, and Robert Skulsky. "Air Launch for Space Shuttles," Acta Astronautica 2 (1975): 703-13.
Salkeld, Robert. "Single-Stage Shuttles for Ground Launch and Air Launch," Astronautics and Aeronautics 12, No. 3 (March 1974):52-64.
Sanger-Bredt, Irene. "The Silver Bird Story," Spaceflight 15 (May 1973): 166-81.
Schlitz, William P. "USAF and the National Space Transportation System," Air Force Magazine (November 1982).
Schriever, Bernard A. "The Space Challenge," Air University Review (May-June 1965): 3-4.
Silveira, Milton A. "Structure Design and Fabrication: Key to Space Shuttle Performance and Cost Credibility." Undated paper.
Smith, E. P. "Space Shuttle in Perspective: History in the Making," American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Paper 75-336, pp. 1-13.
Smith, Melvyn. Space Shuttle. Newbury Park, CA: Haynes Publications, Inc., 1985, 1986.
Spires, David N. Beyond Horizons: A Half Century of Air Force Space Leadership. Peterson Air Force Base, CO: Air Force Space Command, 1997.
Tomayko, James E. Computers Take Flight: A History of NASA's Pioneering Digital Fly-By-Wire Project, SP-2000-4224.
Toner, Mike. "It's Pay Off or Perish for the Shuttle," Science Digest (May 1985).
Truax, Robert C. "Shuttles: What Price Elegance?" Astronautics and Aeronautics (June 1970): 22-23.
Ulsamer, Edgar. "The Shuttle: US's Airline Into Space," Air Force Magazine (September 1971): 53-61.
Vaughan, Diane. "Autonomy, Interdependence, and Social Control: NASA and the Space Shuttle Challenger," Administrative Science Quarterly 35 (1990): 225-57.
Wolfe, Tom. "Columbia's Landing Closes a Circle," National Geographic (October 1981): 474-77.
Toward a History of the Space Shuttle | A Baker's Dozen of Important Books | selective Shuttle bibliography
 ADA Navigation
About Us | What's New | Publications | Researching NASA History | News letter/Annual Reports | Center History Offices | Topical Index | Common Topics/FAQ | Contact Us