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Back to the Moon Hardcover – December 7, 2010
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About the Author
Les Johnson is a NASA physicist, manager, author, husband and father. By day, he serves as the Deputy Manager for the Advanced Concepts Office at the
Top Customer Reviews
"Back to the Moon" is set about eight to ten years in the future and concerns events surrounding NASA's planned return to the Moon. The book is filled with technical detail about how the Ares/Orion/Altair system would have worked, beginning with an unmanned shakedown mission to test the new Moon ship's systems.
In the meantime, a private space entrepreneur has sold enough seats on his new space craft, Dreamcscape, to fly a loop around the Moon on the vacation trip of the lifetime.
Finally, the Chinese are mounting their own lunar expedition, sending their own unmanned lunar lander on a shakedown mission.
When the Dreamscape, with its passenger list of the well heeled and adventurous passes behind the Moon, the commercial cruise ship picks up a low power signal from what is apparently a crew of Chinese space explorers, having crash landed on the Moon. The "unmanned shakedown mission" was in fact a Chinese attempt to steal away the glory from America to land the first people on the Moon in almost fifty years.
So the first American expedition to the Moon since 1972 becomes a rescue mission. Here the novel hits its stride, with enough death defying situations and potentially life ending technical "anomalies" (to coin the NASA term) to--well--fill a good two hour action film directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks.Read more ›
As you might expect, Taylor and Johnson get the science and technology capital-R-Right, painting a vivid, believable portrait of space exploration 10 to 20 years from now. As you might or might not expect, they also manage to wrap all this in a decent techno-thriller story; not quite Tom Clancy territory, but still pretty good. The last half of the novel in particular, especially the Murphy's Law-plagued return trip from the final Lunar mission, feels much like the _Apollo 13_ movie (and the real-life 13 story, for that matter): supremely competent, dedicated people in space and on the ground refusing to accept failure as an option, bringing the astronauts home alive with innovative genius and sheer guts. There appears to be no doubt in the authors' minds that manned spaceflight is a crucial part of our future in space, and after reading this novel you'll likely agree.
The one real problem I have with this book is that the story takes a LONG time to ramp up. I was able to read the first half only a few pages at a time; the tech stuff was interesting, but the story really, really drags until midway through. Once we leave low Earth orbit, however, the pace picks up in a hurry, and the last hundred pages or so finally achieve can't-put-it-down Nirvana.
All in all, a good science fiction novel, one I wouldn't mind seeing become science fact...minus the peril to life and limb, of course.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nicely done story. Bring on private industry in the space game! I'm ready for it. We should be doing more space exploration.Published 2 months ago by D. Kattalia
This was one of the most interesting and realistic novels that I have read in years. If I could have given it 4 & 1/2 stars I would have, it was fascinating and kept me involved... Read morePublished 8 months ago by London Marion
"Back to the Moon"
Review by John Vester
Did you like "Apollo 13"? If so, then you will love Taylor and Johnson's "Back to the Moon. Read more
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Nice historical connection to an era that many baby boomers remember fondly. Read morePublished 14 months ago by science9teacher
Great story that has huge implications for the U.S. Based on factual information, our space program has been and could again be something to make us proud and increase the... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kindle Customer
Hilariously, not only does Taylor and Johnson's "Back to the Moon" share its title with a 1999 novel by Homer Hickam, it also begins exactly the same way, with a prologue... Read morePublished on May 7, 2014 by Larry Bridges
I love the comment at the end by Mr Taylor! It's dead on! The rest of the book was good. I love how the commercial aspects of space travel are used. Read morePublished on January 7, 2014 by Tony Gomez