Liftoff: The Story of America's Adventure in Space
James Dean New York: Grove Press, 1988. First Edition. First Printing. Hardcover. 288, illus., glossary, appendix, index, lib stamps ins rear flylf & to fore-edge crossed out in marker, wrinkling to several pages (no pages are stuck together), DJ in plastic sleeve, sticker inside plastic sleeve over front DJ flap, library stickers on plastic sleeve ( some crossed out in marker). The author was an astronaut; in this book, he covers the early days of Project Mercury to the lunar landings. He also discusses the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Derived from a Kirkus review: Lively, intelligent, richly detailed history of the US space program by an astronaut who made it to the moon. Collins begins his account just after WW II, when the RAND report called for an ""Experimental World. Circling Spaceship."" A decade later, this visionary machine came into being as the Mercury space capsule. This was just a preamble to the real adventure, the race to the moon, which spawned the Gemini and Apollo programs and their offspring, Skylab and the Space Shuttle. Collins recounts NASA's many engineering coups (how to deal with radiation, acceleration, weightlessness, meteor strikes). There are memories of Collins' own flights, including his stint as commander of the Apollo 11 Lunar Orbitor. He wraps it up with a report on NASA's low post-Challenger morale and a call for a national Mars program. This splendid volume also answers many of those weird questions that nag armchair astronauts in the middle of the nigh. A treat for scholars and thrill-seekers. Condition: fair to good, ex-lib., fair to good.
Keywords: Space, NASA, Space Shuttle, Challenger Disaster, Project Mercury, Moon, Apollo 11, Mercury Spacecraft, Astronauts