A Historical Encyclopedia [3 volumes]
by Patrick J. Walsh
December 2009, 1472pp, 8 1/2x11
3 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-37869-0
$309, £238, 269€, A424
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-0-313-37870-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The recent 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon was a vivid reminder of the powerful grip space travel has on our imagination. It also was a reminder of the pivotal role the space race played as a national challenge and a source of competition and cooperation in the Cold War, and how its triumphs and devastating tragedies affected us all.

This book is a comprehensive history of the first six decades of space exploration, from the end of World War II to the modern era of routine international cooperation in space.

From Sputnik to Soyuz, Mercury 7 to the International Space Station, Spaceflight: A Historical Encyclopedia spans the entire half-century of space travel like no other reference ever published.

The 700 articles in Spaceflight cover every human space mission, as well all significant robotic lunar and planetary space exploration programs, from the 1950s through to the 2008 Space Shuttle and Soyuz flights. While most of the encyclopedia focuses on the United States and former Soviet Union, Spaceflight goes beyond other works of this type to explore the space-related initiatives of countries around the world, including long-time space powers such as France, the other member nations of the European Space Agency, and the emerging space programs of China and India. Many of the entries are biographical, including portraits of NASA’s first five groups of astronauts, space shuttle astronauts, Russian cosmonauts, and other non-U.S., non-Russian astronauts who have spent significant time in space.


  • Comprises 700 A–Z entries covering every human spaceflight and all significant robotic space exploration programs, with hundreds of biographical entries
  • Includes 148 beautiful and historic photographs illustrating all major articles, including international (non-U.S., non-Russian) space programs, action photos showing astronauts and cosmonauts at work in space, and photos of space vehicles and equipment
  • Provides bibliographic listings, organized by topic, of print and online sources for further reading
  • Includes complete chronologies of the space shuttle and Soyuz programs through 2008
Patrick J. Walsh is a journalist and author from Peekskill, NY. His published works include Echoes among the Stars: A Short History of the U.S. Space Program. He received his MA in humanities from Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY, and a BA in literature and communications from Pace University, Pleasantville, NY.


"Evidently bound by love to the study, Walsh has assembled this three-volume reference, which includes entries on every space mission, both human and robotic, and is distinguished, also, by a substantial number of biographical entries covering astronauts, Russian cosmonauts, and other non-US, and non-Russian cosmonauts. Arranged alphabetically, the 699 entries are enhanced with small b&w photos; a chronology, a bibliography, and a comprehensive index appear in the third volume. Clear, accessible writing and comprehensive coverage make this a useful and engaging reference that will serve a wide audience of students and the general public as well as industry workers interested in the context and history of their endeavors."—SciTech Book News, March 1, 2010

"...magnificent...There is no shortage of reference material relating to space travel and exploration, but the vast majority of this literature falls far short of Spaceflight....A highly recommended purchase for this country's public and academic libraries."—Library Journal, April 1, 2010

"The strength of Spaceflight: A Historical Encyclopedia is in the lengthy biographies of hundreds of key people relevant to the space program and the thorough coverage of all human spaceflight missions. In addition, it is more current than other reference sources on the topic. Recommended for high-school, undergraduate, and public libraries."—Booklist, May 15, 2010

"Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, May 1, 2010

"This set is recommended for middle and high school libraries, public libraries, and academic libraries supporting undergraduate nonspecialists."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, September 1, 2010
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.