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The Soviet Space Race with Apollo Paperback – February 1, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

Review

It is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the most important space history books ever published... -- Liftoff, Jan-Feb 2005

About the Author

Asif Siddiqi is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Carnegie Mellon University and author of Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes, 1958-2000.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida; 1st edition (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813026288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813026282
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Millard on September 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
For anyone who has an interest in the space race, or the Soviet space program, this book is a must read. It covers the Mishin years as chief designer, and chronicles the downfall of the soviet manned lunar orbital, and lunar landing programs, which were cancelled after the fourth failure of the N1 super booster in 1974. It also covers the Glushko era, and the formation of NPO Energia in the late 1970's.
My only critisizm of the book is that it can be heavy going in places, typical of any official NASA history text. All the known facts are recorded in print, no matter how mundane they may be. However, many of these facts are the details that serious space buffs have thirsted for, for many years. This book adds flesh to the bones of Soviet space history, and shines light into previously shady areas. Topics of particular interest are: the failure of Soyuz 1, the death of Gagarin, the crushing affects of Apollo 8, and the long and continuous string of Proton and N1 launch failures that caused the demise of the Soviet lunar program.
The Soviets eventually turned to their military Almaz program for salvation; which spawned the Salyut space station. This too turned to disater when the first occupants died aboard their Soyuz 11 re-entry vehicle. Some of the books best moments are the eye witness accounts of pivotal events in the program, reproduced from the diaries of General Nikolay Kamanin and the touching story of the N1 booster, which was so close to success before it was ultimately cancelled, dismantled, and completely destoyed by Glushko.
The book is illustrated with small black and white images, but for better photographs, of the N1 and other soviet equipment of this era, I recommend "Rocket and Space Corporation Energia: The Legacy of S. P. Korolev".
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Alexander T. Gafford on February 1, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You think you have job stress? This book,written from Russian source material by a PhD candidate commisioned by NASA, details the huge difficulties Russian engineers had trying to accomplish what they did in the chaotic and Byzantine world of the Soviet space program. Their technical decisions are well described and their personal issues and rivalries dealt with fairly and objectively. I came away with a deep respect for the achievments of the Russians. Their technology base was thin and weak compared to that of the U.S. and they developed many innovative ways to overcome it. The two most interesting aspects to me were the way in which German missile technology was incorporated and then surpassed to start the Russian program and the coverage of the ill-fated but fascinating N1/L1 Moon program. Do be warned - this is a dense, heavily researched, and highly detailed book - not a light read !
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Faith on March 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent and extraordinarily thorough analysis of how the Soviet space program went from the highs of Sputnik and Vostok (covered in the author's first book) to the disappointments of the failed attempts to launch a circumlunar mission or an actual manned lunar landing. If the book is a perhaps excessively detailed and not a light read, I think that's fine, because it also answers the many questions I always had of what REALLY happened during these tense years of the Soviet/American space race. The Soviet efforts were for so long shrouded in mystery and even when revelations came they seemed incomplete. I think this author's strong emphasis on original source material and exhaustive research have been well rewarded. If you want the complete story, this is a must have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas A. Vasiloff on February 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the amateur space enthusiast, Siddiqi's book represents a highly informative, throughly-researched reference on the Soviet/Russian space program. By focusing on the efforts to land cosmonauts on the moon in competition with Apollo, Siddiqi carefully documents the people and reasons why this effort ultimately did not succeed.

It is indeed not a light read in some spots, but reader patience is rewarded. The scope and magnitude of his research is astounding and one comes away with a much better sense of the impact the Soviet space efforts had on the "space race."

There are lots of interesting pieces of information related to the Soyuz 1 and 11 tragedies, the N1/L3 program that are not readily included in other works. The final chapter best summarizes the content of Siddiqi's work and the appendices and tables provide exhaustive information that the space enthusiast would appreciate.

It is indeed a "must have/must read" and belongs in the collection of any space enthusiast!
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