Title: Final Countdown, NASA and the End of the ...
Publisher: University Press of Florida, Gainsville, FL
Publication Date: 2009
Binding: Soft cover
Book Condition: Very Good
Very slight wear along the edges. Very slight rubbing wear. Bookseller Inventory # 107211
Synopsis: The Space Shuttle was once the cornerstone of the U.S. space program. However, each new flight brings us one step closer to the retirement of the shuttle in 2010. Final Countdown is the riveting history of NASA's Space Shuttle program, its missions, and its impending demise. It also examines the plans and early development of the space agency?s next major effort: the Orion Crew Exploration Capsule. Journalist Pat Duggins, National Public Radio's resident "space expert," chronicles the planning stages of the shuttle program in the early 1970s, the thrills of the first flight in 1981, construction of the International Space Station in the 1990s, and the decision in the early 2000s to shut it down. As a rookie reporter visiting the Kennedy Space Center hangar to view the Challenger wreckage, Duggins was in a unique position to offer a poignant eyewitness account of NASA's first shuttle disaster. In Final Countdown, he recounts the agency's struggle to rebound after the Challenger and Columbia tragedies, and explores how politics, scientific entrepreneurship, and the human drive for exploration have impacted the program in sometimes unexpected ways. Duggins has covered eighty-six shuttle missions, and his twenty-year working relationship with NASA has given him unprecedented access to personnel. Many spoke openly and frankly with him, including veteran astronaut John Young, who discusses the travails to get the shuttle program off the ground. Young's crewmate, astronaut Bob Crippen, reveals the frustration and loss he felt when his first opportunity to go into space on the first planned space station was taken away. As the shuttle program winds down, more astronauts may face similar disappointments. Final Countdown is a story of lost dreams, new hopes, and the ongoing conquest of space.
Go behind the scenes of NASA's most visible program
"NPR journalist Duggins reviews the 25-year saga of the shuttle missions, some of which have been shrouded in mystery, as astronauts took secret military payloads into space; others received worldwide attention and acclaim, as when the Hubble Space Telescope was restored to 20?20 vision. . . . A worthy addition to the recent torrent of books about the American space program."--Publishers Weekly
"A story of lost dreams, new hopes, and the ongoing conquest of space."--Spaceflight
"Provides a very personal look at America's manned space program from a veteran reporter who has covered the shuttle's ups and downs for more than 20 years."--Bill Harwood, CBS News
"A refreshingly candid look at the U.S. space program at this crucial juncture. Duggins's enthusiasm for space flight enhances his ability to explore tough questions about NASA's ability to plan for its next giant leap."--David Brancaccio, Host of "NOW" on PBS
"Artfully merges excellent reporting with great writing to chronicle the highs and lows of the Space Shuttle program, along with rare astronaut anecdotes about what it's really like to fly to space and back."?Craig Covault, senior editor, Aviation Week & Space Technology Magazine
In Final Countdown, Pat Duggins chronicles the milestones, the setbacks, the breakthroughs, and the breakdowns of the Space Shuttle program. His unfiltered perspective is that of a journalist, but his passion, evident on every page, is that of a space enthusiast who grew up just south of Kennedy Space Center.
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