Alan Shepard was the first American to rocket into space and Deke Slayton was supervisor of the US astronaut corps for 12 years. This is their account of the bitter struggle between the super-powers to be first on the moon. Why did the Apollo 1 capsule burst into flames killing three astronauts? Why were Neil Armstrong and his crew dangerously close to being stranded on the moon? What were the reasons for the poor relationship between NASA scientists and the astronauts? After 25 years of speculative debate in the media surrounding these questions concerning the competence of NASA and the human cost of the space race, the authors reveal the background behind the news stories. This is not only an account of the politics of the space programme but a book which recalls the sucesses, disappointments and tragedies of those people involved in the launch and flight of America's space craft.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.