Tuesday, August 5, 2014

America's Explorers in Space (1967, 1969)

This is one of the first space books I owned. I had other books before 1967 but somehow this one was very memorable. There are lots of used copies out there because of this reprint:
Which was distributed on behalf of Disabled American Veterans. I am not sure how they happen to be involved with distributing this book. Perhaps people could make a donation and have this book donated in their name to their local school or library.

Cox, Donald W. Illustrated by Dobbins, Dwight. America's Explorers of Space (including a special report on UFOs). Maplewood, NJ: Hammond Inc. (93 p.) 26 cm. Cloth, DJ.

and the 1969 edition:

Cox, Donald W. Illustrated by Dobbins, Dwight. America's Explorers of Space (including a special report on Project Apollo) (2nd edition). Maplewood, NJ : Hammond Inc. (93 p.) 27 cm. Cloth, DJ.

A biographical encyclopedia with biographies of 16 men involved in the history of space exploration including Robert Goddard, Chuck Yeager, Virgil Grissom, and John Glenn. ). Last section of book focuses on UFO's. (pp. 74-87). The 1969 edition was updated with a new text section on Project Apollo (pp. 74-87, replacing 1st edition's UFOs section) and a new sub-title.

 1967 Table of contents
1969 Table of contents

I find it very interesting that along with the biographies of space explorers they chose to have UFOs highlighted in the the 1967 edition. UFOs feel very unscientific from almost 50 years later but they may have thought that the biographies would be too dry without some "sensation."

I appreciate that they included not only astronauts but some of the people who were important in creation our theories and tools of space exploration. Usually these people were not highlighted.

This particular biography of Frank Drake I find very interesting. It is the connection between the space program portion of this book and the section on UFO's. You rarely find a discussion of the search for intelligent life in a children's book.

Although the reprint has a 1969 date it must have been rushed out in the latter half of 1969 to take advantage of the publicity of a Moon landing. The section on Apollo has very complete coverage of the Apollo 11 trip to the Moon.

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