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SpaceShipOne: An Illustrated History
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 22, 2008
On the first line of the acknowledgments page, author Dan Lineham apologizes to "any of my former English teachers who will have heart failure upon hearing that I actually wrote a book." I'm no doctor, but I have read a lot of space and aviation books, and I can say with certainty that all his former teachers are in no medical danger. This is a fantastic book. Really first rate. Glossy pictures throughout supporting excellent in-depth writing that has inside information with plenty of background history. And a foreword by the late Arthur C. Clarke who accurately says this book is "the inside story of how citizens reclaimed space."

It is so exciting to be reading about modern advances in space (by private rebels!), rather than re-hashed history from 40 and 50 years ago. I was worried that the book would be a few press pictures slapped together with a few superficial words covering just a couple of flights; but this is loads of awesome photographs with detailed and balanced writing coming from unique insider access. There is history and breadth with personal commentary from key players. There is detail with logs of all the flights and a full transcript of the Ansari X Prize-winning spaceflight. Overall a real quality production about a real exciting chapter in human history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2008
I find it astounding there are only four reviews here. For the first time, a private company put a man into space, and there seems to be remarkable little interest in it...at least, compared to what there should be. In the future, the first flights of SpaceShip One will go down along side Yuri Gagarin's flight and Apollo 11. This is how mankind will step into space, and stay there. As Rutan points out, the government has zero interest in getting you, the private citizen, into space.
As technologies improve, this first step will start the human race as a whole towards the stars.
That said, this is a very satisfactory book, and, I hope, the first of many. A technical book from someone like Springer/Praxis would be very welcome, although I suppose that depends on how much Scaled Composites and Virgin are willing to reveal.
Anyone who enjoyed or expects to enjoy this book is also advised to buy the Discovery Channel's set, Black Sky/Winning the X-Prize. Once again, however, I have to express some astonishment this groundbreaking achievement was not treated as it should have been and filmed in HD.
I wish Virgin Galactic, Scaled Composites, and whoever builds the first space hotel success, and I only ask it come quickly and affordably. I'd like to spend a week in orbit before I'm too old!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
SpaceShip One, an invention of the creative genius Burt Rutan, is the most significant contribution to manned spaceflight since the Space Shuttle. SpaceShip One proved the ability to reach the limits of space, and be able to be reconstituted for a follow-on flight within two weeks. In doing so, SpaceShip One earned the $10 million Ansari X prize. "SpaceShip One: An Illustrated History", by Dan Linehan, is the story of that journey.

In the first chapter of the book, Linehan provides readers with a very brief overview of Burt Rutan's aviation inventions. Rutan has been a fixture in experimental aviation for decades, so it is essential for readers to have this background information. An idea without funding is just an idea, but when Rutan presented a sound business plan to Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen, the SpaceShip One project could get off the ground.

Next, Linehan describes the Ansari X prize, which promised to reward the first proven sub-orbital space flight that could be repeated within two weeks. He covers why the $10 million figure was chosen; the criteria for earning the award; and also some of the challenges to secure the funding for the prize money.

The remaining 8 chapters cover the construction of the aircraft (White Knight) and spacecraft (SpaceShip One). Each chapter covers different phases of the project, or facets of the construction.

There is a bit of technical jargon that may make reading comprehension a challenge for novices like me. However, the brilliant color photographs and other computer graphics expertly resolve that issue. In my one complaint about the book, in many cases the text referred to graphic aids that are displayed on other pages.

Burt Rutan's accomplishment is a truly historic event. This book presents that accomplishment in a means that can be appreciated by aviation enthusiasts and novices alike.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2008
I love this book. It inspires and informs beyond the SpaceShipOne to cover the people and their passions. Their dreams and aspirations, and how it all ties together in a grand tapestry of our collective aspirations to soar into the sky and beyond.

There are plenty of technical details that show the challenges faced and the ingenuity in overcoming them. Much is laid out in gorgeous photos and well written explanations.

If you've not seen it already, I highly recommend also getting the Discovery Channel documentary "Black Sky". Really the two mediums of print and video complement well. For some it might work best to see that first and then the book for a slower, more detailed look. That's how it worked for me though not intentionally. The video came out first.

There is only one thing I would add to this book, a photo of the crowd in attendance for the first flight to space. I was there with my oldest friend, having driven for 5 hours in the middle of the night to see such an historic event and join the thousands of others in a collective two thumbs up to the folks who made it happen. It was not an orchestrated event, there was no fare and no concessions. Just a community of wellwishers and dreamers hopping to also soar into that black sky, and see the curved earth below. To float free if only for a few minutes. As Burt himself said, it's a very good beginning. Here's hoping the trajectory is straight and high.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2008
This is a wonderful book that pretty much gives you everything you wanted to know about the Spaceship One project. Lots of color photos of the aircraft in the construction phase and during flight. A great discription of the flights and celebration afterward. My hat's off to Burt Rutan and everyone that had a hand in the making of this project.
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on August 8, 2014
I love this book! Linehan's text is a fantastic read and the authoritative reference to the Tier One program. It contains a very detailed look at the people involved, their ambitions and motivations, the technology and material processes gathered to make Tier One possible. There are dozens of beautiful illustrations and photos which really help tie the story together.

I too drove through the night to Mojave to be present for the occasion of Flight 15P - the first private manned spaceflight in history (I still have my parking stub, No. 932, which resides inside my copy of the book as both a memento of the occasion, and as a bookmark). I had followed Scaled's progress with enthusiasm, and when the flight date was scheduled, I knew I had to be there. It turned out to be one of the most inspiring days of my life.

Years later I attended an AMA show where Burt Rutan was delivering a keynote presentation. At a little table off to the side was Dan Linehan, selling copies of his book. I lined up to buy my copy and had the pleasure of chatting with Dan for a few moments. His enthusiasm is genuine and he is a super-nice guy - he even walked me over and introduced me to several members of the Scaled team (including Burt) who each very graciously offered to sign my book! Burt even drew an awesome little rendition of SS1 in the opening leaf.

If you are viewing this title, then I suspect you are already amongst the converted, or at least the interested. If you do not yet own this book, buy it right now.
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on June 7, 2008
Dan Linehan's book Spaceshipone: An Illustrated History represents one of the best historical descriptions of the entire SS1 project written to date. Have been involved in the development of SS1, I can attest to its accuracy, and to Linehan's painstaking efforts and meticulous work to get the story, facts, and documentation correct. As an example, there is an photograph of the interior the SS1 cockpit, with all major controls and instrumentation annotated on the image. This is the kind of detail you will find nowhere else. I predict that this book will become the seminal reference on the SS1 program. I don't know how many copies were made in this first printing, but I'm glad that I've got a first edition.
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An excellent book by Dan Linehan. I had picked up the copy earlier when we met Dan at the Pima Air and Space Museum during a talk he gave there. I wrote a short entry on my blog at that time with some pictures of our own SpaceShipOne model.

The book has many excellent pictures that chronical the evolution of the SpaceShipOne prject and their eventual winning of the Ansari X-Prize.

Very well done Dan! I highly recommend your book.

You can see some pictures of Dan with some of the the RoboRocketry team and a few pictures of our small SS1 in the earlier entry at:(...)
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on January 8, 2014
This is a large, very well illustrated "coffee table" type book. It did a very good job of telling the story of the concept, development, and flights of "Spaceshipone". I found it very interesting to read, and plan to keep it for my permanent collection of books of all types.
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Excellent book on the space system used to send a civilian astronaut into space and win the X-prize. SpaceShipOne and its mother ship, the White Knight, proved that it is possible to build a low-cost alternative to the Space Shuttle. This is all the more important as our government is determined to destroy our manned spaceflight capability.

Well illustrated, especially with some stunning photography.
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