“Finally, the accurate story has been written by one from Challenger’s Launch Control. Hugh Harris’ Challenger: An American Tragedy is a masterpiece.” —Jay Barbree, author of Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon
“Harris offers a personal—and sometimes painful—look back at one of the darkest chapters in U.S. human spaceflight, as well as its impact on NASA over time.” —Space.com
“More than just a personal account of the disaster, Harris punctuates his book with conversations and interactions between himself and some of [NASA’s] key players, bringing the story to life. Throughout, Harris’ love for NASA and the shuttle program is obvious.” —Discovery.com
About the Author
Harris began his career as a member of the news media. He worked as a reporter and broadcaster for WMTR in Morristown, New Jersey, and as a reporter and photographer for two newspapers.
After his retirement in 1998, he shared his experience in NASA public relations with nuclear industry leaders at conferences held by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency in Europe and Japan and in this country through the Nuclear Energy Institute.
He continues to work as a volunteer at the KSC Press Site, as well as for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
=== The Good Stuff ===
* As expected, Harris writes very well. The narrative keeps moving, is easy to read, and rewards the reader with a high content of information per page. The author captures the whole Challenger story, from the biographies of the astronauts to the final results of the investigation.
* While I have read quite a bit of material on this mission, there were still a number of facts and anecdotes that I hadn't heard before. For example, Harris points out that Ron McNair, the Afro-American astronaut was once denied a library card as a child growing up in the South. Today, that very library is named after him.
* The narrative is complete, and doesn't sugarcoat or withhold any information, even that which is not exactly flattering to NASA or its contractors. The book is not especially technical, and is probably well within the understanding of anyone interested enough in the topic to consider reading the book. He avoids the usual NASA tecnobabble and acronym-madness.
=== The Not-So-Good Stuff ===
* The book is exactly as you would expect from a NASA PR type. There are no shocking revelations, and no new shocking revelations or smoking guns. That is most likely a result of the incident being reasonably well understood and investigated previously.
However Harris also avoids any higher order discussions. At its lowest level, the accident was caused by O-Rings operating outside their temperature constraints. This is where Harris stops. But, as the later investigations revealed, there were deeper issues inside NASA, including how information was transferred from working engineers to top managers. This is only briefly touched upon.
=== Summary ===
This is as good of a book as you will find on the Challenger disaster. It is reasonably complete and understandable by those of us who are not rocket scientists. It is a quick read, and I enjoyed the narrative and style. Unfortunately, its scope stops at the actual technical causes of the explosion, and does not pursue any root causes or changes made to NASA management.
Most recent customer reviews
Set up an Amazon Giveaway
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Look for similar items by category
- Books > History > World > Expeditions & Discoveries
- Books > Science & Math > Astronomy & Space Science > Astrophysics & Space Science
- Books > Science & Math > History & Philosophy
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > History > Science & Medicine > Astronomy
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > History > World > Expeditions & Discoveries
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science & Math > Astronomy & Space Science > Astrophysics & Space Science
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science & Math > History & Philosophy