Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel Hardcover – March 6, 2004
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"...an exceedingly thorough and very enjoyable historical account. .. an easy-reading but detailed history of the space station..." -- Observatory, June 2004
"...an excellent interpretive history... This book is superior to many aerospace histories done by professional historians and 'space experts.'" -- Eyepiece, December 2003
"...the accounts of the close calls and disasters are often fascinating..." -- Library Journal
"...well-written, informative account... good read and perhaps the best source of information on a neglected part of space history" -- Astronomy, October 2003
"A seamless recounting of methodical discoveries and political maneuverings alike, Leaving Earth is a super contemporary history..." -- Library Bookwatch, December 2003
"Space enthusiasts worried about where the manned space program is headed will take some heart..." -- The Washington Times, August 31, 2003
"Zimmerman presents a profusion of striking vignettes..." -- Invention & Technology, Fall 2003
"an engaging narrative of human experiences with longer and longer space missions..." -- Nature, December 2003
Winner of 2003 Emme Award -- American Astronautical Society
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more
Top Customer Reviews
This detailed historical account of space station development is a powerful demonstration of how people have learned critical skills for living in space through repeated failure of almost every imaginable variety.
Today we remember Mir and Skylab, but the early Soviet Salyut stations were where much of the real learning happened. Fires, propellant leaks, repeated docking failures and failures in all sorts of science experiments (particularly attempts at plant growth) characterize much of the early history. Failures in crew relationships were at least as frequent - some crews (generally 2 men for the Salyuts) got along famously, but others quickly got on one another's nerves and bitterly endured through months of orbital isolation.
Human failure is here too - the toothaches, infections and heart problems of normal life, and then also the worrying problem of loss of bone mass - up to 2 percent a month, in zero gravity. And political failure, which showed up in relationships with ground controllers who seemed to cease caring, in later years, about what were very serious problems in orbit.
The first failures were docking problems, and sadly, the loss of three cosmonauts.Read more ›
On the down side, there is only one chapter devoted to all three Skylab missions, and I couldn't help but wish this received more attention. Additionally, the volume suffers from a lack of any photographs whatsoever.
All in all, this volume still ranks as one of the best factual accounts of manned space flight that I have read. It is an excellent companion to Burrough's "Dragonfly" and Burrows' "This New Ocean."
Zimmerman's excellant book compels us to rethink this aspect of history which has largely been ignored in the United States. Part of the reason that it has been glossed over in the United States is because this is a history of Soviet triumphs in an era where U.S. achievements in space lacked high profile accomplishments. To someone unfamiliar with the history of space-stations it can come as somewhat of a shock to learn that between the deorbiting of Skylab and the ISS the United States had no presence on space-stations. The 70s and 80s were a period of Soviet re-consolidation of their programs and eventual dominance in space (similar to what happened with us in the Gemini program where we were able to catch up and surpass the USSR) with regards to space-stations in a way that should make us reconsider the traditional narratives of the Space Race and maybe relegate it to the graveyard of unhelpful historical terminology.
Zimmerman's detailed history focuses on many different facets of the U.S. and Soviet experience with building and living in these space stations. For instance, he examines the material differences between Skylab and the very early Soviet Solyut stations. Skylab was luxurious in comparison, while the crew of the early ones suffered severe psychological problems living in the cramped space of the station.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was quite interesting and eye-opening in many ways. I have to agree with one of the back-cover reviews that many Americans, even ones very familiar with NASA and western... Read morePublished on November 19, 2006 by Kenneth Gosier
Zimmerman's book is the detailed story of the first space stations. Anyone interested in manned spaceflight should
read it. Read more
One of two aspects of Mr. Zimmerman's book that most reviewers seem to have missed is his recounting of the many errors, problems, and dilemmas, large and small, trivial and... Read morePublished on March 11, 2004 by Jeffrey H., Wasserman
Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel by Robert Zimmerman is an exciting and exceptional space history book, filled with... Read morePublished on January 30, 2004 by David M. Livingston
Having just finished this book , I must say I was greatly astonished. I have read almost everything on the American space program and what little has been written on the... Read morePublished on December 21, 2003 by David B. Gillespie