- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: The History Press (July 9, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0752454099
- ISBN-13: 978-0752454092
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,611,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Stepping Stones to the Stars: The Story of Manned Spaceflight
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Top Customer Reviews
The author's lack of depth of research also has him repeating the oft-told and non-respectful fantasy of Vladimir Komarov's final hours on Soyuz 1. Yes, Komarov's spacecraft had problems on orbit, which eventually called for the mission to be terminated, but his re-entry was quite normal up until the time of parachute deployment. The rubbish about him crying in space, making wills, talking with his wife, and cursing out everyone associated with his flight has been long refuted by serious spaceflight researchers and historians such as Asif Siddiqi. In perpetuating this horrible myth, the author is quite disrespectful of a brave cosmonaut and his memory. He was an exemplary and calm pilot right through to the end.
As well, there are easily-seen errors such as calling the Lunar Module Eagle a LEM in a photo caption. That term had been abandoned well ahead of Apollo 11; it was subsequently identified as a LM. Also, according to the photo caption on page 103, Ron Evans is shown walking on the moon. That would have been rather difficult, as Ron Evans was the CM pilot on Apollo 17 (which meant he never set foot on the moon). The photo is actually of Charlie Duke walking on the moon on Apollo 16.
The first Earth satellite was only known as Sputnik, followed by Sputnik 2. On page 21 the author identifies the first Sputnik as Korabl-Sputnik 1, but a quick fact check would have shown him that the satellite designated Korabl-Sputnik 1 was actually Sputnik 4.
This book is a nice outline of spaceflight history, but a lack of basic research does not endear it to me.