The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon
Author: Robert Kurson
Publisher: Random House
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind’s historic first mission to the Moon, from the bestselling author of Shadow Divers. “Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian and Artemis By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas. In a year of historic violence and discord—the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago—the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America’s greatness under pressure. In this gripping insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight. Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time—and arrive at a new world. Praise for Rocket Men “In 1968 we sent men to the Moon. They didn’t leave boot prints, but it was the first time humans ever left Earth for another destination. That mission was Apollo 8. And Rocket Men, under Robert Kurson’s compelling narrative, is that under-told story.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson “Rocket Men is a riveting introduction to the [Apollo 8] flight. . . . Kurson details the mission in crisp, suspenseful scenes. . . . [A] gripping book.”—The New York Times Book Review
Read Craig Nelson's posts on the Penguin Blog. "Celebrates a bold era when voyaging beyond the Earth was deemed crucial to national security and pride." -The Wall Street Journal Restoring the drama, majesty, and sheer improbability of an American triumph, this is award-winning historian Craig Nelson's definitive and thrilling story of man's first trip to the moon. At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. Through interviews, 23,000 pages of NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents on the space race, Rocket Men presents a vivid narrative of the moon mission, taking readers on the journey to one of the last frontiers of the human imagination. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Vostok & Voskhod. The First Soviet Manned Spaceflights
Author: Rex Hall,David J. Shayler
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
In The Rocket Menauthors Rex Hall and Dave Shayler review this Soviet demonstration of technological progress from both the developmental and operational aspects which were clouded in secrecy and in direct contrast to the high profile American programme. As the one-man Mercury spacecraft gave way to the two-man series on the American road to the Moon with Apollo, the multi-crewed Voskhod series which followed the single-seat Vostok was expected to compete with the Gemini programme. By developing the experience and techniques required to send cosmonauts to the Moon the series was planned as a stepping stone to the Soyuz and Zond lunar programmes then under development which would race Apollo to the Moon.
Elon Musk, the South African–born entrepreneur who made his first fortune with Internet companies such as PayPal, has risen to global prominence as the visionary CEO of both Tesla Motors and SpaceX, two companies with self-proclaimed missions to improve life as we know it and better secure the future of humanity. For the first time, the most insightful, thought-provoking, and revealing quotes from this entrepreneurial engineer have been compiled into a single book. Rocket Man: Elon Musk In His Own Words is a comprehensive guide to the inner workings of the man dubbed "the real Tony Stark." Hundreds of his best quotes, comprising thoughts on business, clean energy, innovation, engineering, technology, space, electric vehicles, entrepreneurship, life lessons, and more, provide an intimate and direct look into Silicon Valley's most ambitious industrialist. Even with no prior experience in the complex, ultra-high-barrier-of-entry automotive and space industries, Musk has excelled. Tesla, the first successful American car startup in more than 90 years, received more than 325,000 reservations for its economical Model 3 in a single week—advancing the company’s cause to “accelerate the advent of sustainable transport” via affordable, reliable electric vehicles. SpaceX, the first private company to launch, orbit, and recover a rocket and dock at the International Space Station, has drastically reduced the cost of launching and manufacturing reusable spacecraft, which the company sees as the first step toward its "ultimate goal" of making life multiplanetary. In the words of Richard Branson, "Whatever skeptics have said can’t be done, Elon has gone out and made real." How could a young man who at one time seemed like "just" another Internet entrepreneur have gone on to build two highly disruptive companies and innovate technologies related to everything from electric batteries to rocket manufacturing? There's no better way to learn than through his own words. This book curates Musk quotes from interviews, public appearances, online postings, company blogs, press releases, and more. What emerges is a 'word portrait' of the man whose companies' swift rise to the top will undoubtedly keep their status-quo competitors scrambling to keep up.
'Rocket' Ron Haslam started racing on the professional circuit in 1972 at the age of 15 and developed into one of the finest, and fastest, racers the UK has ever seen. Winner of three World titles and four British championships, as well as a record six Macau GPs, he rode in more than 100 Grands Prix. Despite tragically losing two of his brothers in motorbike accidents, Haslam kept on riding, setting speed records wherever he went. His son, Leon, the 'Pocket Rocket', is following in his father's extremely speedy footsteps. A national Motorcross champion and national Scooter champion at the age of just 14, he became the youngest ever rider to compete in the 500cc World Championship and is now one of Britain's top racers, competing for Stiggy Honda in the World Superbike Championship. This is the extraordinary story of a father and a son who are addicted to motorbikes, with all the thrills and spills, miraculous escapes and multiple broken bones that involves. Both colourful characters, their story takes us all the way from the 1970s to today and is full of hilarious high-octane derring-do, a cast of characters including legends like Fast Freddie Spencer and Barry Sheene, and nothing less than terrifying but exhilarating adventure.
An exploration of the life and discoveries of a pioneer of space travel shows how his research and ideas shaped modern aeronautics, and discusses his experimental failures, as well as his many successes.
THE STORY: ROCKET MAN is a serious comedy about the road not taken. Donny Rowan has placed everything he owns on his front lawn, along with a sign that reads: Here's my life. Make an offer. He has cut a skylight into his attic and placed his E-Z
A History of Flight through its Martyrs, Oddballs, and Daredevils
Author: David Darling
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
The wonder of flight has long captured the human imagination. In this beguiling history — ranging from the first aircraft to astronauts and beyond — David Darling tells the stories of the true-life adventurers whose wonder has translated into bizarre contraptions, magnificent achievements, and, sometimes, startling folly. Readers will discover outrageous attempts to fly like a bird and fall from the edge of space, as well as meet Napoleonic ballooniste Sophie Blanchard and her daredevil husband, the real “X-Men” who flew the supersonic experimental “X-planes” for the U.S. Air Force, stuntman Lincoln Beachey looping-the-loop in a pinstripe suit, and, of course, The Rocket Man himself: Yves Rossy, who in 2006 was the first person to cross the English Channel using a jet-pack. Eccentric and reckless, Darling’s daring cast of dreamers is guaranteed to entertain and inspire.
More famous in his day than Einstein or Edison, the troubled, solitary genius Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945) was the American father of rocketry and space flight, launching the world's first liquid-fuel rockets and the first powered vehicles to break the sound barrier. Supported by Charles Lindbergh and Harry Guggenheim, through fiery, often explosive, experiments at Roswell, New Mexico, he invented the methods that carried men to the moon. Today, no rocket or jet plane can fly without using his inventions. Yet he is the "forgotten man" of the space age. His own government ignored his rocketry until the Germans demonstrated its principles in the V-2 missiles of World War II. The American government usurped his 214 patents, while suppressing his contributions in the name of national security, until it was forced to pay one million dollars for patent infringement. Goddard became famous again, monuments and medals raining upon his memory. But his renewed fame soon faded, and Goddard's pivotal role in launching the Space Age has been largely forgotten.
Rocket Man is a very funny and poignant comment on our times, when an upside down middle class is barely hanging onto the American dream. Taking cues from the calamity of The Great Recession, we meet Dale Hammer, a man who is determined to find meaning in a landscape of suburban homogeneity, looking for the moment he had with his own father when they blasted off a rocket on a wintery evening. He feels his son slipping away as he tries to get around Òthe silent shame of fathers and sons.Ó He becomes the Rocket Man for his sons scout troop and immediately his life implodes. Accused of cutting down the subdivision sign to his neighborhood, he becomes the lone rebel, going down in a flaming arc. When Rocket Day comes, Dale is determined to give his son more than his father gave him.
The inside story of the new race to conquer space, as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos spend billions of their own money to explore the final frontier For the larger‐than‐life personalities now staking their fortunes on the development of rocket ships, the new race to explore space could be a dead end, a lucrative opportunity — or the key to humanity’s salvation. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos take center stage in this fast‐paced narrative as they attempt to disrupt the space economy, feed their own egos, and maybe even save the world. We also meet a supporting cast of equally fascinating entrepreneurs, from the irrepressible British mogul Richard Branson to satellite Internet visionary Greg Wyler. All are united in the profound conviction that commercial space transportation will transform our world for the better. Tim Fernholz’s fly‐on‐the‐wall reporting captures an industry in the midst of disruption, as NASA seeks to preserve its ambitious space exploration program, traditional aerospace firms like Boeing and Lockheed Martin scramble to adapt to new competitors, lobbyists tussle over public funds and lawmakers try to prevent this new space race from sparking global conflict. With privileged access to top executives at SpaceX, including Musk himself, as well as at Blue Origin, NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Virgin Galactic, Fernholz spins this high‐stakes marathon into a riveting tale of rivalry and survival.
The story of a great baseball pitcher and his determination to overcome a serious injury, this book recounts how Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemmens recovered from shoulder surgery to make the 1986 season and break the single game strikeout record
Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship
Author: Robert Kurson
Publisher: Random House
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY CHICAGO TRIBUNE • A thrilling adventure of danger and deep-sea diving, historic mystery and suspense, by the author of Shadow Divers Finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea. But two men—John Chatterton and John Mattera—are willing to risk everything to find the Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister. At large during the Golden Age of Piracy in the seventeenth century, Bannister should have been immortalized in the lore of the sea—his exploits more notorious than Blackbeard’s, more daring than Kidd’s. But his story, and his ship, have been lost to time. If Chatterton and Mattera succeed, they will make history—it will be just the second time ever that a pirate ship has been discovered and positively identified. Soon, however, they realize that cutting-edge technology and a willingness to lose everything aren’t enough to track down Bannister’s ship. They must travel the globe in search of historic documents and accounts of the great pirate’s exploits, face down dangerous rivals, battle the tides of nations and governments and experts. But it’s only when they learn to think and act like pirates—like Bannister—that they become able to go where no pirate hunters have gone before. Fast-paced and filled with suspense, fascinating characters, history, and adventure, Pirate Hunters is an unputdownable story that goes deep to discover truths and souls long believed lost. Praise for Pirate Hunters “You won’t want to put [it] down.”—Los Angeles Times “An exceptional adventure . . . Highly recommended to readers who delight in adventure, suspense, and the thrill of discovering history at their fingertips.”—Library Journal (starred review) “A terrific read . . . The book gallops along at a blistering pace, shifting us deftly between the seventeenth century and the present day.”—Diver “Nonfiction with the trademarks of a novel: the plots and subplots, the tension and suspense . . . [Kurson has] found gold.”—The Dallas Morning News “Rollicking . . . a fascinating [story] about the world of pirates, piracy, and priceless treasures.”—The Boston Globe “[Kurson’s] narration is just as engrossing as the subject.”—The Christian Science Monitor “A wild ride [and an] extraordinary adventure . . . Kurson’s own enthusiasm, combined with his copious research and an eye for detail, makes for one of the most mind-blowing pirate stories of recent memory, one that even the staunchest landlubber will have a hard time putting down.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “The two contemporary pirate-ship seekers of Mr. Kurson’s narrative are as daring, intrepid, tough and talented as Blood and Sparrow—and Bannister. . . . As depicted by the author, they are real-life Hemingway heroes.”—The Wall Street Journal “[Kurson] takes his knowledge of the underwater world and applies it to the ‘Golden Age of Piracy’ . . . thrillingly detailing the highs and lows of chasing not just gold and silver but also history.”—Booklist “A great thriller full of tough guys and long odds . . . and: It’s all true.”—Lee Child From the Hardcover edition.
The Extraordinary True Story of the Man Who Dared to See
Author: Robert Kurson
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Blinded at age three, Mike May overcame his disability to become a competitive downhill skiier and a member of the CIA, and in 1999 undertook an experimental surgery in an attempt to restore his sight.
Feeling invisible as the middle child, Bob gets the chance to shine when he is asked to plan a basketball game to support cancer research, but his father, who suffers from cancer, may not be able to make the game when he lands in a wheelchair after a fall.
The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
Author: Robert Kurson
Publisher: Random House
In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery–and make history themselves. For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships. But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment. No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location. Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors–former enemies of their country. As the men’s marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew. Author Robert Kurson’s account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the ocean’s underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea. BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Robert Kurson's Pirate Hunters.
After moving to America, Nick Wideman - son of a Greek sprinter and an American pole vaulter - is dumbfounded when he is criticized by the black community and ostracized by whites for transferring to all-black Central High School in an attempt to join a nationally acclaimed 400-meter relay team, whose runners are so fast they are called Rocket Men. A school-boy's crush on pretty brown Mia Hunter only adds fuel to the fire as Nick battles reverse discrimination and stiff competition to make the team.