on July 18, 2004
I was very disappointed because I expected some in-depth analysis of space transportation concepts accompanied by beautiful illustrations. I got plenty of renderings but they were mostly ordinary and the text only glossed over the concepts. Some of the descriptions were way off base. For instance, the author took the term "microgravity" literally in describing satellites in low earth orbit (the gravity in low earth orbit is actually almost as intense as on the surface of the earth).
The accompanying CD had only animations and was not informative at all.
For a real vision of space transportation, I highly recommend Robert Zubrin's "Entering Space" or his treatise, "The Case for Mars". They aren't collections of artwork but are more stimulating.
on May 29, 2004
The text is very poorly written and has some technical inaccuracies (like an incorrect explanation of how an electric motor works) but it covers most of the important ideas of the subject. Don't expect much from the illustrations though, they're all basic computer-generated imagery, nothing compared to the incredible Mars Spirit lander animation released by NASA. If you can get past the choppy, dryly written prose and mostly unsatisfying pictures then the inherently interesting conceptual technologies may still satisfy you. The book lacks depth though, and any gems of science are usually too muddled in weird paragraphs to be as gracefully expressed as they deserve.