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Rocket Ship Galileo Mass Market Paperback – December 28, 2004


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044101237X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441012374
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #981,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Like many people, I go way, way back with Heinlein. My very favorite book (and one that stands out in my mind--and with much affection--to this day) is Tunnel in the Sky. I really, really wanted to go off to explore new worlds with a covered wagon and horses, like the hero does at the very end of the book. But one of the nice things about Robert Heinlein is that he's got something for everyone. One of my best friends has a different favorite: Podkayne of Mars. Go figure.
                        --Shelly Shapiro, Executive Editor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

They called themselves the Galileo Club -- not a bad name for a group of space-minded young men who had high hopes of putting one of their homemade rocket ships in orbit.
But it wasn't until they teamed up with Doc Cargraves that their impossible dream became an incredible reality. Suddenly the three Earthbound youths and their mentor were hurtling through space, heading for the barren wasteland of the Moon. Or so they thought.
They were totally unaware that the dark crater shadows concealed a threat beyond their wildest imaginings . . . a threat from which only a mircale could save them! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 44 customer reviews
It was a great adventure story.
Norman Strojny
I know it's not what would (or is) considered a great piece of writing ... Bob Heinlein wrote it as a juvenile book ... but I was one when I first read it!
Dave Ehrlich
I remember finding this book in the school library when I was a kid and never forgot reading it from cover to cover.
Diesel Ness

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Christenson / Lunamation on October 26, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was Heinlein's first novel published in book form, and the first in his excellent "juvenile" series which included Space Cadet, Time For The Stars, Starman Jones, The Star Beast, Tunnel In The Sky, etc., and it is still my all-time favorite. Heinlein manages to make believable the tale of a scientist (Dr. Cargraves) organizing three 18-year-old boys of a rocket club to build a nuclear powered moon rocket. If you have an interest in space travel you'll get sucked in and won't put the book down until it's over, no matter how dated and unlikely the premise at first appears. It is written with Heinlein's usual skill (that earned him four Hugo awards), and the characters are easy to identify with, especially for any young space enthusiasts. This was also the basis for the 1950 classic film Destination Moon, although about all that remains unchanged in the film is the name Dr. Cargraves. In the book there is a veiled threat from unknown enemies that turn out to be Nazis (this was the first thing Heinlein wrote after the war) - in the film there's just a veiled reference to a communist threat. I suspect the film also draws from Heinlein's more sophisticated treatment from the same period, The Man Who Sold The Moon.
On 6 October 1988, after Robert Heinlein's death, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded him the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal:
"In recognition of his meritorious service to the Nation and mankind in advocating and promoting the exploration of space. Through dozens of superbly written novels and essays and his epoch-making movie Destination Moon, he helped inspire the Nation to take its first step into space and onto the Moon." -- James C. Fletcher, Administrator, NASA
Read Rocketship Galileo, or get it for your kids. If it's not available here, search the auctions.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Iowanapple on January 5, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I was a kid, I dreamed of being an astronaut. That wasn't to be, but this book inspired me to go into science and engineering and now I'm a successful programmer; I've heard the book influenced many other people similarly, including many who worked on the space program. If you have similar interests, I think you'll find Rocket Ship Galileo absorbing, even if dated.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Robert James on July 25, 2000
Format: Library Binding
Let's say this right up front: "Rocket Ship Galileo" is not Heinlein's best novel. But it just might be his most influential work, and given that the competition ranges from "Stranger in a Strange Land" to his early groundbreaking science fiction before WWII, that's saying a great deal. After his return from civilian service for the Navy, Heinlein wanted to break out of the pulps he'd written for before the war. He didn't want to stay trapped; he wanted to write for the slicks, for girls, for boys, for the movies, for nearly every market that he could break into. "Rocket Ship Galileo" is not his first novel -- he'd written several novel-length works for the pulps. But it is his first work specifically written for young boys, and the first of the dozen or so juvenile classics to follow. Heinlein's greatest literary hero, Mark Twain, had written for boys; the market seemed open to him, and the money looked good. Heinlein always loved teaching young people, and this novel would prove his greatest triumph in that regard. Yes, the storyline is somewhat hard to believe: three high-school age boys get taken to the moon. But that was right in the tradition of the Tom Swift novels that had sold so well to young boys. Yes, the ending is corny to us now, with Nazis on the moon: but in 1947, the Nazis has just been defeated, and they had been the world's greatest rocket scientists: it seemed perfectly plausible in 1947. The novel hasn't dated well in some respects; the dialogue is a bit cheesy, and the characters are a little hard to tell apart.Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Heinlein's first "juvenile" novel was written skillfully and is highly entertaining. The tale of a scientist enlisting the aid of 3 boys of a rocket club to build a nuclear powered moon-rocket was scientifically accurate for the time, and inspired future NASA engineers, though the first moon-flight turned out differently. However, Heinlein's realistic characters are easy to identify with, making the story believable even to a modern-day reader.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on May 24, 2003
Format: Library Binding
Rocket Ship Galileo (1947) is the first novel in the author's juvenile series, depicting the initial flight to the Moon. Published in 1947, the story is now the history of an alternate timeline, in which the atomic weapons used to end World War II were succeeded by a more vigorous development of nuclear power as well as the growth of internationalism into a more powerful form of world government. Rocket ships are used routinely to carry passengers and freight to the ends of the Earth.

In this story, Doctor Donald Morris Cargraves has designed a system of power generation that is too powerful for existing turbines to handle. However, it would make an excellent rocket engine. He takes the idea to his corporate bosses, but they reject the technology as unlikely to have an adequate return on investment. His corporation owns the rights to power generation, but not those to rocket propulsion. Cargraves resigns, with no hard feelings on either side, to work on the idea.

While he is considering his options, Cargraves decides to visit his sister and nephew. However, Art is with his friends, Ross and Morrie, at the Galileo Club test site, trying out a new model rocket, so Cargraves drives out to meet them. The boys are running a test as he approaches and have set the engine to full thrust. All is going well until, suddenly, the engine hesitates and then explodes. After the boys have checked the remains and covered the instruments and test stand, they leave only to find Cargraves face down at the gate. They call an ambulance which takes him to the hospital.

The next day, the boys have gathered all the pieces of the rocket and tidied up the site when Cargraves shows up with a turban bandage on his head.
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