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NASA Book Commemorates 50 Years of Spaceflight

NASAreleased a new book on Thursday to commemorate the last five decades of achievementin aeronautics, science and technology, and spaceflight since the launchof Soviet satellite Sputnik ushered in the Space Age.

The U.S. space agency is also celebrating its own 50thanniversary in 2008. Sputnik's historic launch on Oct. 4, 1957 led directly to NASA?s creation in1958 when Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act.

"Thisbook has a wonderful collection of imagery that chronicles the firsthalf-century of NASA," said NASA deputy administrator Shana Dale in astatement. "As we view the historic achievement of ourfirst generation of space explorers and see how far we have come in 50years, we also peer over the horizon to a new era of exploration that willprovide us with an outpost on the moon and eventually human exploration ofMars."

Titled"America in Space" and published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York,the book contains 500 color and black-and-white photographs ? many never beforepublished ? that were gleaned from NASA archives. Images show dramatic momentsat lift-off as well as the faces behind-the-scenes in mission control,providing vivid illustration of the very human astronauts, scientists,engineers, and administrators.

"Abrams is tremendously proud to have collaborated withNASA to create 'America in Space,' which celebrates some ofour nation's greatest achievements and is also a milestone in photographicpublishing," said Eric Himmel, Abrams vice president and editor-in-chief."It was thrilling to see these amazing images materialize from NASA's vastvisual archives as the project took shape."

"America in Space" also features aforeword by Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong - the first human to walk on themoon on July 20, 1969. NASA chief historian Steven Dick,lead photo researcher Constance Moore and other officials also contributed tothe new book, the space agency said. The book sells for $50.

For moreimages from the book, click here.


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Jeremy Hsu is science writer based in New York City whose work has appeared in Scientific American, Discovery Magazine, Backchannel, and IEEE Spectrum, among others. He joined the and Live Science teams in 2010 as a Senior Writer and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Indicate Media.  Jeremy studied history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania, and earned a master's degree in journalism from the NYU Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. You can find Jeremy's latest project on Twitter (opens in new tab)