cover image The Smithsonian Book of Air and Space Trivia

The Smithsonian Book of Air and Space Trivia

Edited by Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Books, $12.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-58834-461-8

A perfect gift for the space geek in one's life, this brief but packed collection will offer surprises even to those knowledgeable about early aircraft and space travel. Obscure factoids abound; for instance, the toy Buzz Lightyear really did fly%E2%80%94he was taken on a 2008 Space Shuttle Discovery mission to the International Space Station. Topics range from the Apollo space missions to pioneer figures in aviation like the Wright Brothers, and the book tests knowledge of such details as the names of all the space shuttles as well as the first military airplane and first money-making passenger plane. The information on women in aviation is extensive, including the fact that the first air attendant originally applied to be a pilot. And, of course, the Smithsonian addresses the oft-asked question, "How do astronauts go to the bathroom in space?," complete with a picture of space diapers. With numerous photos, especially of various aircraft, this is something that should appeal to all ages and backgrounds. 115 b&w photos. (Apr.)