Category Archives: History

“Space in Miniature 3.1 – Space Shuttle” : Updated reference book for modelers now available

Mike Mackowski of Space In Miniature sent me the following announcement:

Space In Miniature 3.1 – Space Shuttle is Released

Challenger model. Credits: Space in Miniature

A complete revision of the third installment of the Space In Miniature (SIM) series of reference books for spacecraft modelers is now available. This book has all the information a modeler will need to build an accurate, detailed model of the Space Shuttle. Originally published in 1990, 24 pages have been added to this soft-cover book that now features color covers. Nearly all of the original material has been updated or replaced with new drawings and articles. Due to the increased page count, a few articles have been moved to an upcoming new SIM book on Shuttle payloads.

SIM #3.1 – Space Shuttle focuses on NASA’s reusable spaceplane, featuring scale drawings showing the various thermal protection patterns used on all six Orbiters and how they evolved over the entire 30+ years of Shuttle operations. The 61-page book also includes four detailed articles on building Space Shuttle models, and seven pages of kit reviews and a list of after market parts. There are a total of 78 drawings and photographs, plus several tables and the cover photos.

This book is printed in black and white on coated paper, and is available both as a hard copy as well as a full-color pdf file. This guidebook will be a unique resource for the serious space modeler. A hard copy of SIM #3.1 – Space Shuttle sells for $12 plus shipping, while a pdf download costs $10. A combination package of both the hard copy and digital version is available for only $15 plus shipping. To order, see www.spaceinminiature. com or send an email to The other titles in the SIM series are still available.

SIM 3.1 – Space Shuttle

Folio edition of “A Man on the Moon” by Andrew Chaikin

Andrew Chaikin sent me this announcement of a new fully-illustrated Folio edition of his classic A Man on the Moon, a vivd history of the Apollo missions. Andrew says he “did all the photo selection and image prep work for the edition, which I think has turned out beautifully“.

A Man on the Moon
The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts
Andrew Chaikin

With a new preface by the author
Foreword by Tom Hanks
‘I’ve been there. Chaikin took me back.’  Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 Commander

Almost a decade in the writing, A Man on the Moon is the definitive story of the Apollo programme. Andrew Chaikin’s authoritative account is based on hundreds of hours of interviews with the astronauts, as well as the scientists, engineers and flight controllers who shared every heartbeat of their voyages. This spectacular two-volume Folio edition features an exclusive selection of photography, along with a new preface by the author and a foreword by Tom Hanks.

Packed with a photography selection curated by the author from his personal archive that features previously unpublished images and sharp new scans of frames from NASA films, this is the ultimate edition of Chaikin’s awe-inspiring history. As well as nearly 200 colour and black-and-white photographs integrated within the text, it has additional full-colour sections – including an eight-page fold-out in each volume – that show off the superb images to their best advantage. The author has expertly matched each image to the text, giving us a complete and unrivalled visual and oral history of the Apollo missions.

A Man on the Moon spans the whole of the Apollo programme. With its exhilarating minute-by-minute accounts of the missions, Chaikin vividly captures what Tom Hanks calls in his 1998 preface the ‘romantic, epic, historic adventure of it all’. It is the complete story of humankind’s greatest feat of exploration, from the deadly Apollo 1 capsule fire, the pioneering flight of Apollo 8 and Neil Armstrong’s ‘giant leap for mankind’ to near-catastrophe aboard Apollo 13. It is also includes the often-overlooked later missions, which saw scientists and astronauts test the limits of lunar exploration and deliver geological insights that revolutionised our understanding of both the moon and our own planet.

Product information

  • Three-quarter bound in blocked cloth with printed paper front boards.
  • Set in Apollo with Futura as display.
  • 800 pages across 2 volumes.
  • 56 pages of plates plus an 8-page fold-out per volume.
  • 9¼˝ x 8¼˝.
  • Pictorial slipcase.
  • UK £150.00 US $225.00 Can $285.00 Aus $350.00

For over 70 years, The Folio Society has been publishing beautiful illustrated editions of the world’s greatest books. It believes that the literary content of a book should be matched by its physical form. With specially researched images or newly commissioned illustrations, many of its editions are further enhanced with introductions written by leading figures in their fields: novelists, journalists, academics, scientists and artists. Exceptional in content and craftsmanship, and maintaining the very highest standards of fine book production, Folio Society editions last for generations.

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A Man on the Moon:
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“Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future” film now available at Amazon Prime

The documentary, Chesley Bonestell: A Brush With The Future, is now available for rent or purchase on Amazon Prime.

What do the Golden Gate Bridge, the Chrysler Building, the film Citizen Kane, and America’s Space Program all have in common? They were touched by the hand of a wry-humored and slightly cantankerous artist named Chesley Bonestell (1888-1986).

His paintings of the Golden Gate Bridge convinced doubting San Franciscans that the bridge could be built. His designs for the Chrysler Building made it an art-deco masterpiece. As a special effects matte painter, he created the legendary Xanadu Castle for Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane.

Even greater was Chesley’s impact through his space art. First published in Life Magazine in 1944, his visions of planets and galaxies, made before the advent of powerful telescopes and satellites, sowed all the seeds necessary for one of the most revolutionary chapters of our country: the United States Space Program. His iconic “Saturn As Seen From Titan” became known as “the painting that launched a thousand careers.” His space art graced the covers of countless science fiction magazines of the 1940’s and 50’s. Teaming up with rocket experts Willy Ley and Wernher von Braun, he co-authored a long series of influential books beginning with the best-seller, The Conquest of Space.  His evocative imagery fired the imaginations of a country looking to conquer the next frontier, and so the quest began!

Illustration of a Mars expedition landing site by Chesley Bonestell for Colliers Magazine, April 30, 1954.

Summoned by Hollywood producer George Pal, Chesley lent his talents to classics like Destination Moon and The War Of The Worlds. Television requested Chesley’s help with the series Men Into Space. Even today, you can see his influence on filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and many others.

Chesley Bonestell: A Brush With The Future compellingly reveals a nearly-forgotten artist whose mysterious, almost magical, ability to envision distant worlds inspired generations to reach for the stars. Often compared to a twentieth-century da Vinci, this first-ever film about Bonestell explores the life and works of an artist whose influence and timeless imagery are regarded by many as unparalleled. This documentary was produced by award-winning filmmaker Douglass M. Stewart, Jr. and Co-Produced by Ron Miller and Melvin Schuetz, authors of the Hugo Award-winning book, The Art of Chesley Bonestell.

See previous HS items about the film here and here.

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Space Art Chronology

Space In Miniature Tech Report 4 – Energiya Buran

Michael Mackowski of Space in Miniature sent me an announcement of his latest report:

Space In Miniature Tech Report 4 – Energiya Buran
Reference Book for Model Builders

The fourth installment in the Space In Miniature (SIM) short-form “Tech Reports” series of reference booklets for spacecraft modelers is now available. The 30-page digital publication, SIM Tech Report #4 – Energiya Buran,  describes in detail how the author, Michael Mackowski, built six different model kits of the old Soviet Union’s Energiya Buran heavy lift rocket and orbiter.

The Buran program, with its associated Energiya heavy booster, was the Soviet response to the United States Space Shuttle. The Energiya booster was only launched twice, in 1987 and 1988.

A total of six different kits in two scales are included in this book, which is loaded with over 70 photos of work in progress of the following subjects:

  • 1/288 Energiya Buran (STC Start)
  • 1/288 Energiya Polyus (STC Start)
  • 1/288 Energia Buran (Master Modell)
  • 1/144 Energia Buran (Anigrand)
  • 1/144 Buran (Rho Models)
  • 1/144 Buran (Ark)

The SIM Tech Reports cover topics that are too short or too narrow in subject matter for full length printed books. These are also distributed only as electronic (pdf) copies, which can be printed by the customer. It allows the use of color illustrations, and customers get their books via a simple download. The pdf download sells for $7.00 and is available at


Check out videos of SIM projects on Michael Mackowski’s YouTube channel. It includes several videos about the Energiya Buran project, e.g.

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Auction of Apollo astronauts’ autographed photos

Paul Fraser Collectibles points me to autographed NASA astronaut photos for sale at Prestige Collectibles Auction  through the end of July.

The items include a set photos autographed by the 12 Apollo astronauts who walked on the Moon.

Moonwalkers autographs: complete set of 12 signed photos


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