Balloon to the Moon


Balloon to the Moon tracks the history of humankind’s obsession with space exploration, and particularly with the Moon.  It is presented in a timeline format, starting with the first known attempts at flight in 5th century BC China, where kites were invented for military purposes.  This super book takes readers through time, via Leonardo Da Vinci’s ornithopter (human-sized artificial wings) to balloons and airships, the first aircraft and finally to rockets, supersonic travel, the race to the Moon and beyond.

Balloon to the Moon is a clear and fascinating journey through the evolution of the human desire to fly, and then explore space.  The story does not stop at the 1969 American moon landing, it progresses forward into the present day and even the future of space exploration.  A particularly notable feature of the book is Christopher Nielsen’s fabulous retro screen print-style illustrations, which elevate the book to a work of art. Graphic novel and cartoon strip techniques are also used to great effect, giving the reader a great feel for context as well as the facts.

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Balloon to the Moon

The Story of the Human Journey to Space

Gill Arbuthnott and Christopher Nielsen

(Big Picture Press)

With the US government’s decision to embark upon a new moon landing programme, interest in space exploration is particularly high.  Balloon to the Moon is a handsomely mounted and illustrated history of humankind’s obsession with space travel.  Author Gill Arbuthnott has written a very engaging and enlightening story, while Christopher Nielsen’s bold retro-style images compliment the text superbly.  Packed with information, Balloon to the Moon will answer all the questions budding astronauts might pose. It covers the entire history of the quest to reach the moon, from humankind’s first attempts to get off the ground via balloons in the 1700s.  As the space race intensified in the 50s, 60s and 70s, we learn through revealing descriptions about the personalities involved as well as the technological innovations.
Balloon to the Moon makes for a fascinating story, and one that will appeal to readers of all kinds. It even concludes with details on space careers and the future of humankind’s exploration of our universe.
Bookwagon has a heap of books about space exploration in its on-line book store, such as Space Explorers.
UKLA Science Book of the Year



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