April 12, 2011 was the 50th Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's pioneering journey into space. To commemorate this momentous achievement, Springer-Praxis has produced a mini-series of books that reveals how humanity's knowledge of flying, working, and living in space has grown in the last half century. "Partners in Space" focuses on the early to late 1990s, a time in the post-Soviet era when relations between East and West steadily - though not without difficulty - thawed and the foundations of real harmony and genuine co-operation were laid for the first time with Shuttle-Mir and the International Space Station. This book explores the events which preceded that new ear, including the political demise of "Space Station Freedom" and the consequences of the fall of the Soviet Union on a once-proud human space program. It traces the history of "the Partnership" through the often traumatic times of Shuttle-Mir and closes on the eve of the launch of Zarya, the first component of today's International Space Station.