Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel

Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel

by Robert Zimmerman
Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel

Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel

by Robert Zimmerman

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Overview

In this definitive account of the quest to establish a human presence in lifeless outer space, award-winning space historian Robert Zimmerman reveals the great global gamesmanship between Soviet and American political leaders that drove the space efforts of both following the Apollo lunar landings in the 1960s and 1970s.

Beaten to the Moon by their Cold War enemies, the Russians were intent on being first to the planets. They knew that to reach other worlds they needed to learn how to build interplanetary spaceships, and believed that manned space stations held the greatest promise for making that possible. Thus, from the very moment they realized they had lost the race to the Moon, the Soviet government worked feverishly to build a viable space station program -- one that would dwarf the American efforts and allow the Russians to claim the vast territories of space as their own.

Like the race between the tortoise and the hare, the ponderously bureaucratic Soviet Union actually managed to overtake the United States in this space station race. Their efforts -- sometimes resulting in terrifying near death exploits -- not only put them far ahead of NASA, it also served to reshape their own society, helping to change it from a communist dictatorship to a freer and more capitalist society.

At the same time, the American space program at NASA was also evolving, but not for the better. In fact, in many ways the two programs -- and nations -- were slowly but inexorably trading places.

Drawing on his vast store of knowledge about space travel and modern history, as well as hundreds of interviews with cosmonauts, astronauts, and scientists, Zimmerman has superbly captured the exciting story of space travel in the last half of the twentieth century. "Leaving Earth" tells that story, and is required reading for space and history enthusiasts alike who wish to understand the context of the space exploration renaissance taking place now, in the twenty-first century.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161318508
Publisher: eBookIt.com
Publication date: 03/04/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Robert Zimmerman is an award-winning science journalist and historian who has written five books and more than a hundred articles on science, engineering, and the history of space exploration and technology. He also regularly reports about space, science, politics, technology, and culture at his website, Behind the Black.com. His third book, Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel was awarded the American Astronautical Society's Eugene M. Emme Astronautical Literature Award in 2003 as the best space history for the general public.

His magazine and newspaper articles have appeared in Science, Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Air & Space, Natural History, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Wired, Invention & Technology and a host of other publications. In 2000 he was co-winner of the David N. Schramm Award, given by the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society for Science Journalism, for his essay in The Sciences, "There She Blows," on the 35-year-old astronomical mystery of gamma ray bursts.

In addition to his writing, Mr. Zimmerman is also a cave explorer and cartographer, and has participated in numerous projects exploring and mapping previously unknown caves across the United States. It is this activity that has allowed him to actually "go where no one has gone before," thus providing him a better understanding of the perspective of engineers and scientists as they struggle to push the limits of human knowledge.

He was born in Brooklyn and lives in Tucson, Arizona.
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