On 20 February 1959 the Canadian government shut down the CF-105 Avro Arrow jet interceptor programme, putting the cream of Canada's aerospace engineering talent out of work. Many of the Avro engineers had just arrived in Canada from Great Britain. A brand new organisation called the Nationl Aeronautics and Space Administration was charged with putting US astronauts into space, and in 1959 it desperately needed engineering talent. Within 10 weeks of the demise of the Arrow, 25 Avro engineers were working for NASA, and another seven joined them later. Other Avro engineers found work with the aerospace contractors that built spacecraft and boosters or NASA. A little more than 10 years later, US astronauts were standing on the surface of the Moon in the climax of one of the greatest stories of technology and exploration in human history. This book tells for the first time the story of the Canadian and British engineers from Avro Canada who played key roles in putting Americans on the Moon and in building today's US space programme, including the space shuttle and the International Space Station.
Also included are other Canadian contributions to Apollo and a chapter on the Canadian space programme. This is the final chapter in one of the most compelling stories in Canada's history. How the demise of Canada's national dream contributes to one of the greatest triumphs in American history.