Since the first rocket-technology experiments of the early 20th century, space exploration has captivated the world. Recent advances and setbacks have included the new discoveries from the Galileo mission, the Mars Global Surveyor's revelation that water once existed on the Red Planet, the International Space Station, the advent of space tourism, and the devastating Space Shuttle disasters. This one-stop guide to space exploration provides a wealth of information for student researchers. A substantial 'Chronology of Events' and a narrative history outline the key events and people in the progression of space research and activity. Five topical essays--including a look at the Space Shuttle--examine several significant issues related to the politics and technology of space exploration from an international perspective. These chapters elucidate several sets of documents that give shape and substance to the larger story. Primary documents in this volume are organized by theme and represent the variety of materials available to anyone seeking a better understanding of the rise of space exploration. Also included are biographical sketches of key people associated with space flight, a listing of the human space flight missions undertaken since 1961, and an annotated bibliography of additional reading.