United States Sen. Jake Garn (R) of Utah, the first congressional observer in space, was a crew member of the space-shuttle Discovery in 1985. A brigadier-general in the Utah Air National Guard, he has more than 10,000 flight hours. Senator Garn recommends the following books for those wishing to extend their orbit of understanding about the first steps in space. ENTERING SPACE: AN ASTRONAUT'S ODYSSEY, by Joseph Allen and Russell Martin. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 1985.
Joe Allen, an astronaut since 1967, has logged 314 hours in space. This gives credibility to his observations about the basic requirements of pulling together a mission.
OVERVIEW EFFECT: SPACE EXPLORATION AND HUMAN EVOLUTION, by Frank White. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1987.
This book is a compilation of the personal experiences of many of the world's space travelers. Woven into these views are Frank White's observations on the technological, sociological, and cultural benefits of space exploration.
HISTORY OF MANNED SPACE FLIGHT, by David Baker. New York: Crown. 1985.
In his meticulously detailed book outlining space exploration, David Baker goes back to the 16th century and traces the development of space exploration efforts and the institutions that have guided those efforts. Included is an excellent summary of Soviet and American manned spaceflight since 1985.
PLANET BEYOND, by Mark Littmann. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 1988.
Former director of the Hansen Planetarium in Salt Lake City, Mark Littmann has written an excellent book outlining the history of interplanetary space exploration and how it has changed long-held principles of astronomy.
LIFTOFF, by Michael Collins. New York: Grove Weidenfeld. 1988.
Michael Collins's experience as a member of the crew of Apollo 11 and his broad knowledge of aerospace combine to make a very educational book about one of the most significant events in the history of mankind.