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Inside the Space Race: A Space Surgeon's Diary Hardcover – November 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1933538396 ISBN-10: 1933538392

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Synergy Books (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933538392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933538396
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,363,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Dr. Lawrence ("Larry") E. Lamb is known to millions who read his daily, nationally syndicated column, as it appeared for 24 years. Earlier, he was a key scientist for the nation’s man-in-space program and later professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. He gives the reader an inside look at the events, personalities and clashes among the individuals who led and developed the program that enabled the United States to beat the Soviets and send astronauts to the moon. He developed the medical examinations used to select the astronauts, and for everyone who has gone to the moon.

Through his eyes, you can live through the reaction to the Soviets’ sudden surprise—launching Sputnik into space—and how the United States responded to the Soviet threat to national security.

On November 14, 1959, Dr. Lamb met Lyndon B. Johnson, then Senate Majority Leader, when the Senator dedicated the new buildings for the nation’s Aerospace Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. That was the beginning of the years he attended Lyndon Johnson while he was a Senator, Vice President and as a consultant when he became President. He gives the reader some cameo views of Lyndon Johnson the man, at play on his Texas ranch, escaping the burdens of his office.

Inside the Space Race relates Lyndon Johnson’s role as the nation’s leader, who enabled the United States to close the missile gap with the Soviets and beat them in a race to land on the moon. You will read that Lyndon Johnson felt that leadership in space was essential to national survival and how he supported aerospace development long before Sputnik. Through his efforts in the Senate, the ground was broken to begin construction of the future Aerospace Medical Center in May 1957, before Sputnik I was launched into orbit in October 1957. President Kennedy and Vice President Johnson were close partners in the nation’s quest to achieve leadership in space. Kennedy often said sending a man to the moon was the greatest adventure of the 20th century.

President Kennedy followed Dr. Lamb’s advice regarding the medical problems of astronaut Deke Slayton, the astronaut who was not cleared to pilot a Mercury flight.

President Kennedy gave the dedication address for the new facilities at the Aerospace Medical Center, on November 21, 1963, the day before he was assassinated. Inside the Space Race recounts the events of that day before Dallas.

When the Soviets reported their cosmonauts deteriorated so badly during space flight that man might not be able to spend more than a few days in space, it cast a spell over the United States plan to send a man to the moon. Dr. Lamb’s team had studied the effects of men at bed rest and helped to dispel that crisis. The United States’ moon mission continued on. The reader will also learn why John Glenn’s orbital flight was nearly canceled because of what happened to Enos, the chimpanzee that was orbited in a Mercury capsule to check out the effects of space flight before Glenn was cleared to fly.

Inside the Space Race points out how essential satellites are in our every day life and to national security. The account comments about the future of space flight, the prospects of a lunar base and eventually the exploration of other planets.

Dr. Lamb has written many books, and was a consultant to the President’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports for 30 years. He received the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the highest award the Department of Defense can give to a civilian, for his contributions to the nation.

About the Author

Dr. Lawrence ("Larry") E. Lamb is known to millions who read his daily, nationally syndicated column, as it appeared for 24 years. Earlier, he was a key scientist for the nation’s man-in-space program and later professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. He gives the reader an inside look at the events, personalities and clashes among the individuals who led and developed the program that enabled the United States to beat the Soviets and send astronauts to the moon. He developed the medical examinations used to select the astronauts, and for everyone who has gone to the moon.

Dr. Lamb has written many books, and was a consultant to the President’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports for 30 years. He received the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the highest award the Department of Defense can give to a civilian, for his contributions to the nation.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shirley Priscilla Johnson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Our author, Dr. Lawrence E. Lamb is certainly one who has all the qualifications to write a book on this subject and leave you assured the information is correct and informative. A former national syndicated columnist, Dr.Lamb was a key scientist for our nation's man-in-space program and he also developed the medical examinations used to select the astronauts and others going to the moon. Quite a responsibility and one well done.

As with all threads of history, there are always interesting behind the scene stories in given situations and this one is gripping as we learn how our government dealt with the Soviets' surprise launching of Sputnik and the following years of the space race. You will read of President Kennedy and the role he played however what I found most interesting was the 'up to the plate and hitting a home run' attitude and perseverance that Lyndon Johnson had in this entire race. I never realized the important role he played and I enjoyed the human side portrayed of him.

Inside the Space Race is an up-front look into a pinnacle time of history in our country, its people and events written in an informative, captivating way. As you close the cover you will realize you have gained a far greater understanding of the importance the space race is to our national security and you will be thankful for the strides forward we are continuing to make. You will appreciate the key players, the roles they took and the sacrifices they made. A very well written, informative read awaits you in this work by Dr. Lamb. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Lappen VINE VOICE on April 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book looks at the early days of the American space program from the point of view of a key scientist, someone who had a voice in deciding who would, or would not, be traveling into space.

In the early 1950s, there was much concern, even paranoia, about Soviet military capabilities. The concern got even worse when Sputnik was launched in 1957. Lamb was an Air Force cardiologist who was given the task of developing the cardiology portion of the physical exam used on participants in the Man in Space program. Starting from scratch (a couple of abandoned buildings at Brooks AFB in Texas), Lamb and his group knew that they had to be as sure as possible about a pilot's physical condition. Lamb did not have the final word as to who would be going into space, but his recommendation carried a lot of weight.

When he recommended that Donald "Deke" Slayton, one of the original Mercury astronauts, not be cleared for spaceflight, many important people were not happy. Attempts were made to find cardiologists who would publicly state that Slayton's heart arrythmia should not ground him. Other attempts were made to take the whole cardiology program away from Lamb and his group, and put it under the direct control of NASA or the Pentagon. Lamb strongly objected when he discovered that Slayton was to be the backup astronaut for John Glenn's orbital flight (which almost never happened and which almost ended in disaster), and when Slayton was to be the astronaut for the second orbital flight.

When the emphasis turned to longer flights, Lamb talks about the experiments that were devised to measure the effects of prolonged weightlessness on the human body. Data from Russian flights showed that the human body simply could not take any more than several days of weightlessness.
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