- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Baen; First Ed edition (December 7, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1439134057
- ISBN-13: 978-1439134054
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Back to the Moon Hardcover – December 7, 2010
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About the Author
Travis S. Taylor—“Doc” Taylor to his friends—has earned his soubriquet the hard way: He has a doctorate in optical science and engineering, a master's degree in physics, a master's degree in aerospace engineering, a master's degree in astronomy, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. Dr. Taylor has worked on various programs for the Department of Defense and NASA for the past sixteen years. He's currently working on several advanced propulsion concepts, very large space telescopes, space-based beamed energy systems, and next generation space launch concepts. He has appeared in several episodes of the History Channel’s Universe series. He lives in
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
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In the middle of the 2020s, there is a space race back to the Moon with China, NASA, and an American private space touring firm. The book feels incredible realistic with all of the highly documented problems between the various space ships. And it is not very kind to China.
Unfortunately, the book was published in 2010. Shortly after the writing, NASA dropped its goal of going back to the Moon and is now focused on going to Mars. Which, will probably never happen.
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.
Review by John Vester
Did you like "Apollo 13"? If so, then you will love Taylor and Johnson's "Back to the Moon." This fictional moon rescue mission is fraught with enough technical problems and human drama to keep you on the edge of your crash couch from the book's launch until its successful landing.
Written by two aerospace scientists who bring authenticity to every scene, they also deliver some compelling arguments for going back to the moon and for allowing the private sector space efforts to flourish. Knowledgeable space advocacy on top of a gripping fictional adventure. Does it get any better?
If human exploration of space is important to you, then this book is for you. If you are up for a McGiver meets Mission Impossible thrill ride, then this book is for you too.
Written when the Ares/Orion program was still alive, this book is none-the-less as relevant today as it was then. Taylor and Johnson have created a real winner in "Back to the Moon." Read it, and go back with them.
I thought this would be little more than a thinly veiled attempt to boost interest in NASA's manned space program, and in a way, it is that. But it is also a damned good read, a science and suspense packed thriller. I won't go into the details or plot of the book, others have done that, and I don't want to spoil the book for you.
If you have an interest in space travel, if you ever dreamt of going up in spaceship as a kid, or an adult, read this book.
I'm wondering how much of some of the details of this book were made up, and how many were carefully 'sanitized' stories of what goes on behind the scenes at NASA? And like other reviewers have stated, the Afterword is direct and to the point. I hadn't realized just how small of a shoestring budget NASA has to work with until now. That needs to change. Humanity needs to get off this one, small mudball and get out into space.
Good storyline, good character development, exciting action. A fun read.