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The Space Shuttle Program: How Nasa Lost Its Way Paperback – July 29, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0786434343 ISBN-10: 0786434341

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (July 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786434341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786434343
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,281,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"An in-depth examination." --Spaceflight.

About the Author

R. Michael Gordon is the author of several books, and has written extensively on Victorian London and the Ripper phenomenon. He lives in Long Beach, California.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Roger D. Launius VINE VOICE on October 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
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.
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