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Gemini Steps to the Moon Paperback – October 2, 2001

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Gemini Steps to the Moon + Project Mercury Familiarization Manual Manned Satellite Capsule + NASA Project Gemini Familiarization Manual Manned Satellite Spacecraft
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Product Details

  • Series: Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration
  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2001 edition (October 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852334053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852334055
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,932,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


From the reviews:

"David J. Shayler has written a fascinating book which tells, with a fresh perspective from the end of the twentieth century, the achievements of Project Gemini. His book, which is based on extensive research of NASA archives and interviews with some of the Gemini astronauts, relives the pioneering years of American manned spaceflight." (John O’Donoghue, Astronomy & Space, July, 2002)

"David Shayler has an easy style of writing and an excellent way of putting over what could have been a difficult subject. … With plenty of line drawings and black and white images, this book does the subject proud. It should appeal to anyone with an interest in spaceflight and to those wishing to understand how the US got to the Moon in under a decade from the first crewed spaceflight. … I expect it to become the bible on Gemini for spaceflight enthusiasts everywhere." (Paul Money, Astronomy Now, September, 2002)

"David Shayler is well qualified to write a book about Gemini, and he has succeeded admirably. He deals with the project in all its aspects; the initial steps, the design and planning, the astronauts themselves, the flights … . It is clear that a tremendous amount of research has been involved; the text is well-written, accurate, and very detailed. … serious students and scientific historians will find it invaluable as a reference work, and it should certainly have a place in every scientific library." (Patrick Moore, The Observatory, Vol. 122 (1168), 2002)

"David Shayler brilliantly wrote the essential history of Gemini with his newest book … . a highly entertaining and readable account of a unique program … . The author has ensured the book contains an extensive study of these goals and the flights on which they were carried out. Often the information was completely new to me. … Gemini: Steps to the Moon is a book that I can highly recommend to anyone interested in a little known era in the history of spaceflight." (Kate Doohan, CRCSS Space Industry News, Issue 93, March, 2002)

"David Shayler’s superb history of the Gemini Project is subtitled ‘Steps to the Moon’ … . An up to date biographical index of all astronauts involved in Gemini and its potential USAF developments is incorporated as an appendix. Shayler has obviously researched widely. His history is full of fascinating details that were previously unknown to this reviewer. … With Shayler’s history you need never research Gemini again for it’s all here!" (John O’Dwyer, News Bulletin of the Astronautical Society of Western Australia, Vol. 27 (4), 2002)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 19, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gemini was an incredibly important and successful program, but unfortunately is forever cast into the shadows by the even greater achievements of Apollo. There have been several other publications written on the subject of Gemini, but most are official NASA histories that are extremely difficult (and expensive) to obtain. In this book David Shayler documents all aspects of Project Gemini from inception to conclusion. He details not only the technical aspects of the Gemini spacecraft (and spacecraft subcomponents) but discusses the development, testing, and capabilities of the Titan, Atlas, and Agena vehicles which were so crucial in obtaining program goals. Each mission is discussed in detail, and there are many illustrations (including some I have never seen anywhere else), tables, and graphs providing most any information desired.

The book is lengthy, but is never boring, and I reveled in the thorough treatment given to this crucial program, a program that truly was a giant step to the moon. My only critiques of the book are fairly miniscule. There are numerous typographical errors in the text, most of which are quite obvious, so I am rather surprised they slipped through proofreading. There are also a couple of insignificant errors in the crew biographies (notably regarding Armstrong's post-NASA teaching career) that don't dramatically detract from the book as a whole, but would be good to correct in future editions.

I highly recommend this book, and salute David Shayler for writing such an outstanding book on such a critical program.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan H. Ward on June 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I echo the previous reviewers' sentiments about the wealth of information about the Gemini program in Shayer's book. There are diagrams and illustrations in here that are hard to find anywhere else.

What's really frustrating to me, and which I think seriously jeopardizes this book as "the" reference on Gemini, is the number of typos and glaring factual errors. It's one thing to have extraneous punctuation marks, but many pages contain at least one major factual error. This may be due to poor editing, but nonetheless, the person reading about Gemini for the first time is going to be exposed to some blatantly wrong material.

As an example, the first sentence of page 254 says, "The recovery of Gemini 8 would be achieved at a contingency site in the Atlantic, just ten hours after launch." [Error: Gemini 8 landed in the Pacific Ocean, not the Atlantic.] There are many, many other places where units of measure are left off, or reference is made to an incorrect mission.

The other shortcoming of this book is the poor reproduction of black and white photographs. They look like someone printed them out on a home laser printer and then photocopied them.

I do think there's a lot to commend this book for the advanced reader, one who is not reading for accurate historical narrative but rather for technical data, and one who has the savvy to fill in the missing data or recognize glaring technical errors.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have always been interested in the Gemini program, yet little information seemed to exist about it. This book is incredibly comprehensive. It does not read like a novel like Andrew Chaikins, Man on the Moon. It is divided into indepth sections on the booster, the capsule, EVA, recovery, etc. Don't get me wrong, it captures the drama in each mission well but it is not always approached in a sequential manner regarding missions. It reminds me of the Apogee book series on each mission but this has all Gemini related topics rolled into one book.
If you like to read about the exact reasoning behind scrubbed launches, every success and failure related to hardware like the Ageena docing module or boosters, the issues faced on each EVA or which suit was used on which mission, how they differed and why then this is your book.
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Gemini Steps to the Moon
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