NONFICTION

International Space Station: Architecture Beyond Earth

Circa. Apr. 2017. 416p. illus. index. ISBN 9780993072130. $75. ARCH/SCI
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This book thoroughly chronicles the history, development, engineering, habitation, design, and, finally, "architecture" of the International Space Station. Weighing 422 tonnes, the ISS is still circling the planet every 90 minutes at about 17,500 miles per hour, coequal in the author's judgment to CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. The book proceeds diligently from the 1960s to today, dividing American habitation in space into seven chapters. The ISS was constructed primarily by Russia and the United States after 1972, with contributions from Europe, Japan, Canada, Italy, and Brazil, and it still represents the most ambitious and the most complicated habitat ever conceived, contrived, and constructed by sapiens. This book culminates seven years of work by the author, embracing four valuable appendixes, more than 100 terms in the glossary, over 300 illustrations, 500-plus footnotes, and over 1,200 index terms in 400-plus pages. This heavy tome far replaces several smaller, outdated NASA paperbacks and reference guides with a much larger scope, a greater attention to detail, and a fully fashioned explanation of the complicated economics, politics, technologies, etc., of space exploration. This book definitely serves the general public. The author is a British architect who moved to California and has long specialized in the architecture and design of space exploration vehicles.
VERDICT Excellent for STEM education and lots of other disciplines.

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