Space Shuttle 1981-2011 is a lavishly illustrated special edition celebrating the space shuttle era. In thirty years of operation, space shuttles were used in 135 different missions; this volume presents the adventure stories of many of these missions in the astronauts’ own words. Additional contributions by space exploration writers cover the history of the program, technological challenges and triumphs, scientific achievements, and the devastating Challenger and Columbia tragedies. Complete with more than 40 essays and 100 full-color photographs, Space Shuttle 1981-2011 is a captivating overview of this critical part of space history. Although the space shuttle era has ended, its spirit—that of limitless curiosity and a desire for perfection—continues to inspire.