Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle Reading App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Let me see if I have this right: I am being asked to accept a critique of the Space Shuttle program from an author whose previous books are on the Jack the Ripper episode of the Victorian era, whose bibliography includes the tabloid discussions of the Challenger accident by Joseph J. Trento and Malcolm McConnell but not the books of Diane Vaughan or Dennis R. Jenkins or even T.A. Heppenheimer, who relies on newspaper reports rather than the massive documentation of NASA and its contractors available at the National Archives and other repositories, and whose first page of the first chapter contains no fewer than four errors of fact. It doesn’t get better as the book continues. "The Space Shuttle Program: How NASA Lost Its Way" is a ham-handed discussion of the program, emphasizing short-sightedness, technological lethargy, and bureaucratic inertia on the part of NASA in pursuing and flying the Space Shuttle from 1981 through the return to flight following the Columbia accident.
R. Michael Gordon suggests that the antecedents of the Space Shuttle may be found in the lifting body research program undertaken in the 1960s and 1970, completely ignoring the many efforts beforehand ranging from Eugen Sänger’s “Silver Bird” in the 1930s and 1940s through the Air Force’s X-20 Dyna-Soar program and the X-15 in the 1960s as well as the fact that while lifting body research aided design of the Space Shuttle the vehicle as built was anything but a lifting body. The NASA Space Shuttle was an outgrowth of decades of research and development aimed at developing a reusable spacecraft.Read more ›