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Smithsonian Books Releases "Spaceships"

Visual Guide to Real and Fictional Spacecraft Available Oct. 18

October 18, 2016

Smithsonian Books’ Spaceships: An Illustrated History of the Real and the Imagined is available Oct. 18. The book journeys through the history of the spaceship, including the Montgolfier brothers’ balloon in the 18th century, the rocketry experiments of the early 1900s, space travel as seen through the eyes of the early movie makers, Wernher von Braun’s development of the V-2 ballistic missile during World War II, the space race of the 1950s and ’60s, the space shuttles and the creation of the International Space Station, the XPrize spacecraft competition and future interplanetary spacecraft designs.

This book shows how real spaceships have influenced fictional ones and how fiction has unexpectedly changed reality. Astronautics owes its origins to art: long before engineers and scientists took the possibility of spaceflight seriously, virtually all of its aspects had been explored in art and literature. Illustrating these advances in both thought and technology, Spaceships contains more than 800 illustrations.

About the Author

Ron Miller is an artist and author who specializes in writing and illustrating books on astronomy, astronautics and science fiction. He has served on the faculty at the International Space University, as contributing editor for Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine and as art director for the Albert Einstein Planetarium at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

About the Book

Title: Spaceships: An Illustrated History of the Real and the Imagined
Author: Ron Miller
On-Sale Date: 10/18/2016
Price: $34.95 / Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-1-58834-577-6
Smithsonian Books

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SI-527-2016

Media only 
Matt Litts 
(202) 633-2495 
littsm@si.edu

Book cover showing drawing of spacecraft


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