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Red Star in Orbit Hardcover – May 12, 1981


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (May 12, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394514297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394514291
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #849,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Dia on January 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Oberg, an internationally recognized expert on the Russian (FSU) space program, provides an excellent description of the triumphs of the Soviet space program. The story is fascinating, and the author clearly respects his subjects. What's special about Oberg, though, is his perspective on Soviet affairs. He is also a scholar of Russian studies, and rather than simply recounting historical data and technical details of the Soviets' space efforts, he also outlines the details of the political realities which the space program faced. It makes a nice companion to studies of the US space program. Highly recommended.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 1996
Format: Hardcover
Oberg was and is one of America's experts on the Soviet space program. This book reflects his knowledge on the subject. One of the questions answered in this volume is "Did the Soviet's race the US to the moon?" The answer is a strong yes. Did the US beat them? Again, the anwer is a strong yes. This is a good book by one who knows
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mindme on July 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In many ways Oberg is the Carl Sagan of space engineering. He's worked in the trenches at NASA as an engineer (Johnson Space Center in Houston 1975-1997) but he has a talent for bringing his area of expertise to the masses. He's big, friendly, engaging, and surprisingly telegenic for an engineer in his fifties. He speaks English, French, and Russian and has used his language skills and friendly demeanor to gain access to the heart of the Russian and European space establishments. He's in the golden rolodex. He gives testimony before congress. He appears on PBS, cable news, and the Discovery channel. He writes for a wide range of publications about space engineering.

Oberg is probably best known for authoring Red Star in Orbit, a history of the Soviet space effort up until 1981. In 1991, PBS transformed his book in a documentary series. HBO has optioned Red Star in Orbit for some future made-for-TV miniseries.

Oberg is also a proud, card-carrying member of CSICOP. He was part of a small maelstrom of controversy in 2004 when it was revealed NASA had contracted him to write a book that finally takes on the "moon landings were a hoax" crowd. The book was to address the hoax "proof" point by point and showing why the thesis is based on a poor understanding of basic physics. Oberg was to be paid $15,000 for the book. Critics felt that if NASA made it an official publication it would give credibility to the hoax theory. Oberg himself declared he'd write the book on his own dime.

What's fascinating about Oberg is his involvement as a skeptic in the world of UFO nuts. For years, and to this day, he's been a regular haunt on newsgroups like alt.alien.visitor. With humor and a vast store of knowledge he takes on the "they're up there!" UFO crowd.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although now somewhat out of date, when Oberg's book was first published it represented the best telling of the Soviet side of early space exploration in the English language. It helped to explain the enigma that surrounded our only, and very capable, competitor in the space race. More recent revelations have changed our understanding of some of the story. Still Oberg is thorough, a good critical thinker, and a top-notch writer. This is great reading for anyone interested in the cold war space race.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good for anyone who is curious about the Russian space effort. I enjoy history programs like "When We Left Earth" so this really helped fill the gap in world space travel.
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