Balloon to the Moon: The Story of the Human Journey to Space

Publisher: Big Picture Press

Presented in a timeline format, beginning with the first known attempts at flight in 5th century BC China (where kites were invented for military purposes), this book takes readers through time to Leonardo Da Vinci’s ornithopter (human-sized artificial wings) to balloons and airships, the first aircraft and finally to rockets, supersonic travel and the race to the Moon and beyond.

It’s a clear and fascinating route through time in this evolution of the human desire to fly, and then explore space, presented in 13 page-turning chapters.

Refreshingly, the book doesn’t stop at the 1969 American moon landing as the end of the story and presses forward into the present day and even the future of space exploration.

What sets this book apart from some more academic-looking books on the subject is Christopher Nielsen’s utterly fabulous retro screen print-style illustration which elevates the whole thing to a work of art. Sixties era-style posters head up the beginning of each chapter, alluding to how the world was at the time of the 1969 moon landing, and giving us a feel for the context as well as the facts.

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