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The Rocket Company Kindle Edition
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|Length: 263 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
As a fictional business case study, it makes for very interesting reading. The author knows his rocket science and celestial mechanics and lays out his ideas very well. I saw an earlier reviewer's complaint over the use of imperial rather than metric units, but it does not distract from the reasoning.
For a book on space travel, this book is unique in my experience in the detail to which it analyses the business requirements needed to make the ideas work. The idea that the rocket company intends only to manufacture and sell the launch vehicle described in the book is a big departure from the sort of space advocacy books that have been published since the great retreat from the moon.
There are various technical decisions made in the design process described in the book that I have a problem with, but I'd guess that every reader will feel this way and that every reader's quibbles will be different. That's what happens whenever a truly interesting idea is discussed.
I wish more of the ideas presented in the proposed design had been summarized in graphs. Hopefully future printings of the book will expand the one graph at the end into a series of appendices for the technically inclined.
While this book is technically a novel, it reads more like a long, fictional HBS case. The characters and plot are unimportant. You are meant to read about the business and engineering and be interested in that. It's a book for nerds.
Technically, the book is so-so. The authors downplay testing. They push ultra-thin engineering margins. They introduce complexity where it seems unnecessary. It often seems like AMM (the rocket company) is doing things the hard way. Maybe these are literary tools used so that the authors can talk about their interests, but the reader is often left thinking "there's no way a rational company would do things that way or spend money on that". They approach business questions with a bit of wishful thinking. Regular VC discount rates do not apply. No real competitors will ever arise. To their credit they do at least think about business issues.
Good space books are thin on the ground. This one deals with a lot of the real complexity of an engineering company, and that makes it interesting. It's obviously timely, since numerous real companies are beginning to push into this world. If it was a book about any other topic, I'd give it three stars, but it's so unique in its depth and thought on this topic that I have to pump it up. In summary: It's a book for nerds. Mandatory reading for space nuts. Should not be taken as gospel.
As you may notice, many have called it a fictional business plan for getting out there into space and in some ways that is true. But is also the nearest thing to a very realistic, hard science fiction story about getting into space. At first it may feel a tad slow but all the build up in the earlier chapters, all the details as the two stage rocket is designed, the funding collected and the future plotted out inch by inch, makes the later chapters easier to understand, as you are on the same page as the author, and make them go much faster.
It is not just all math and profit. There are a few wonderful drawings, lots of imagination, and even some humor. The end result is something hard sci-fi fans, like myself, not only can enjoy but it also promises ONE way that we can get off this planet, into space.
Because, if NASA can't do it, somebody else will have to.
If you enjoyed this book I would also suggest the anime Planetes: Complete Collection for its vision of the future. I would also suggest the following books, in no real order - Return to the Moon (Apogee Books Space Series), ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been a fan of the space program (both real and imagined, as in Star Trek) for the better part of my life, so the premise behind this book as instantly intriguing. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Jeffery C. Schmitt
Written as a work of fiction, this is actually a very detailed, highly technical plan to develop a working commercial space exploration company. Very well done. Very comprehensive. Read morePublished 4 months ago by J. M. Brown
This is a really interesting book. I really enjoyed reading it. I learned a lot of new rocket terminology. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Nic
If you want to build a rocket this is an excellent way to start.Published 7 months ago by Peter P Palumbo
Thank goodness we don't need a generation of handbook engineers anymore.Published 9 months ago by garth lippmann
This book gives a general overview on launch vehicle technology comparing different solutions used in the past and brand new ideas. Read morePublished 15 months ago by giovanni pandolfi
Well written book with a lot of insights into the private enterprise of space travel. Even though this was written as a novel, the book has a tremendous amount of detail about how... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Steve
I liked the ideas presented by the author about developing a rocket but at times the book was hard to have that "I can't put this down" mentality. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
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