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Rocketeers: How a Visionary Band of Business Leaders, Engineers, and Pilots is Boldly Privatizing Space Paperback – Bargain Price, July 29, 2008
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About the Author
The author of Rocketeers, Michael Belfiore has written about spaceflight and advanced technology for Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, New Scientist, Air & Space, Smithsonian, Financial Times, Wired.com, and other media outlets. He lives in Woodstock, New York.
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Top Customer Reviews
I recently spent a few days at a NASA facility with a group of teachers. I asked them the same question that Robert Bigalow asks in the book, "What is America's inspiration today?" They didn't have an answer. Neither did I. And I didn't see an answer during my NASA visit. NASA is doing some great things with what they have, but they seem a somewhat demoralized by the fickleness of political support and funding. Who can blame them? Surrounded by mothballed and rusting test stands and equipment, it certainly wasn't the NASA of my youth or the Apollo program.
However, the commercial space guys seem to be a breed of their own. A group of dreamers, entrepreneurs and space buffs, some using their own money, trying to open space to regular folks. I think the commercial space pioneers described in the book could provide the excitement and possibly the inspiration we desperately need in this country. Sure, it's a long shot, but I think it might be the best one we have. I'm looking forward to it.
human interest narrative about some of the exciting people and companies
involved in America's burgeoning private space industry: the X Prize,
Burt Rutan, Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk, Robert Bigelow and a few others.
I thought the best chapters were about Burt Rutan and winning the
XPrize, in particular the blow by blow account of all the troubles they
had, very edge of the seat; also the backgrounds of Elon Musk and Robert
Bigelow. As a journalistic work it is ephemeral and will be outdated
(except as a source for later writers) but if your fascinated by
the events, people and rocket ships, this is an excellent overview valuable right now,
it's still too early to write the history. Belfiore writes for a number of periodicals like
Popular Science, Wired, New Scientists, and claims to be one of only a
few who are covering this exciting new industry, so he will certainly be
an author to watch in the years ahead.
However although this book had some interesting stories which I quite enjoyed I am yet to see much evidence for any real results for this privatizations for example, Virgin Galactic always seems to be only a few years to go.
For those of you who interested in more detail, Rocketeers starts out at the second X-Prize flight of SpaceShipOne, as Mr. Belfiore takes us from the VIP section at Mojave back through the Apollo era at NASA and its effect on him. I identified with his excitement and later disappointment at where NASA took us in space.
He follows the history of the X-Prize starting with Peter Diamandis' ingénues idea to have a prize for going to space. All this leads up to a word picture of what it felt like to see Brian Binnie break the 62-mile invisible wall into space. This marks the beginning of the modern private space age.
Rocketeers takes us to an in-depth peek into most of the major private space companies. He talks with the visionaries and engineers (and even passengers) from the most successful businesses, such as SpaceX, to ill-fated endeavors, like the da Vinci Project and everyone in-between including Bigelow Aerospace, RocketPlane, the Rocket Racing League, and Virgin Galactic. Moreover, he looks at each of these without judgment on their chance of success or importance. He simply reports what they are doing and why and lets the reader decide who is worth watching.
Before you accuse me of taking bribes from Harper Collins or Mr. Belfiore, there are some less than perfect parts of the book. First, the flow-of-consciousness science fiction style Mr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book arrived so quick i thought the mailman had an extra floating around. It was new and great reading.Published on April 9, 2012 by Plain ole guy
The topic is definitely interesting, but this treatment is scatterbrained and unsatisfying. The author skips over all the interesting technical details of the various space flight... Read morePublished on February 13, 2012 by Kenneth M. Sarocky
I found the book informative and the topic definitely interesting, but the way the story is told leaves me with an oddly disjointed feeling which I suppose reflects the state of... Read morePublished on January 3, 2010 by Dennis Koga
This book is a rather basic introduction to NewSpace ideas and people. Private space flight is an exciting subject and if you are new to it, you will probably enjoy the book. Read morePublished on December 30, 2009 by A. Rytov
As someone who works for one of the companies highlighted in "Rockeeteers" I find that it's not always easy explaining what we are doing to privatize Space. Read morePublished on December 2, 2009 by K. McKee
Michael's overview provides a sound foundation on the beginnings of the NewSpace movement. Required reading for anyone that dreams of space exploration!Published on January 4, 2009 by Michael Joyce
Rocketeers provides a quick introduction to the people making the current boom in private space flight happen. Read morePublished on April 26, 2008 by railmeat
What a great book on the future of private space! I hope the author will
write "Rocketeers 2.0" real soon. Looking forward to following his career as a free-lance author. Read more
Finally the Americans we (foreigners) have all admired in the past, are coming back to life. This book is a well written "easy read", about American entrepreneurs doing what... Read morePublished on December 28, 2007 by G. Kennedy