Saturday, November 23, 2013
Book Review - Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011
About the Book
Humanity’s first reusable spacecraft and the most complex machine ever built, NASA’s Space Shuttle debuted with great promise and as a dependable source of wonder and national pride. But with the Challenger catastrophe in 1986, the whole Space Shuttle program came into question, as did NASA itself, so long an institution that was seemingly above reproach. Wheels Stop tells the stirring story of how, after the Challenger disaster, the Space Shuttle not only recovered but went on to perform its greatest missions. From the Return to Flight mission of STS-26 in 1988 to the last shuttle mission ever on STS-135 in 2011, Wheels Stop takes readers behind the scenes as the shuttle’s crews begin to mend Cold War tensions with the former Soviet Union, conduct vital research, deploy satellites, repair the Hubble Space Telescope, and assist in constructing the International Space Station. It also tells the heart-wrenching story of the Columbia tragedy and the loss of the magnificent STS-107 crew.
As complex as the shuttle was, the people it carried into orbit were often more so—and this is their story, too. Close encounters with astronauts, flight controllers, and shuttle workers capture the human side of the Space Shuttle’s amazing journey—and invite readers along for the ride.
My Take on the Book
This was a great book filled with stories, some that I was aware of, but so many that were new to me. As someone who grew up with the highs and lows of the space shuttle, I loved reading this and appreciated all of the intricate details that were included in this book. There was so much that I was unaware of and this book shares it with the reader. You not only gain a better understanding of the technical side of things in regards to space travel and the shuttle, but you also get to know the people through the interviews and so much more that the author shares. On each page you are transported further and further into the book and even though at first the book may seem long, you will find yourself flying through this and compelled to read even more (or at least I was).
I highly recommend this to all, as it offers rich description and detail as well as unprecedented access to insider interviews and research that I have never come across before in a book on this topic before!
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