Space has long been touted as the next battlefield in global warfare. From the Cold-War funded space race through to today's modern spy satellites, a huge amount of cash has been pumped into developing weapons platforms and technology to defend, and dominate space.
So, over the course of a couple of years, Osprey entered it's own personal space race and embarked on some of our most futuristic titles ever in an effort to demystify and desci-fi (I'm just making up words now!) the weaponry of space.
Two titles really pushed the barriers of what we had covered in the past. The first to hit the streets was a New Vanguard title - NVG 99 The Space Shuttle Launch System 1972-2004. The book is the standard NVG fare - looking at the design, development and history of the Space Shuttle - with some very cool artwork showing of the inside of the cockpit. In fact, despite my childhood dreams of being an astronaut I am resigned to the fact that this book is probably going to be the closest I ever get to the Space Shuttle. Unless I win the lottery / become and oil mogul / suddenly discover a talent for computer programming.
The second book to push the boundaries of space is a Fortress title, FOR 53 Defending Space: US Anti-Satellite Warfare and Space Weaponry - which is a feverish combination of current technology and the overwhelming possibilities for the future of space weaponry. Although some of the ideas and weapons spoken about still probably remain in the realm of science fiction, the conspiracy theorist in me wonders whether or not somewhere up in the heavens is a James Bond-esque space station, complete with laser beams!