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Stepping Stones to the Stars: The Story of Manned Spaceflight [Paperback]

Terry C Treadwell

RRP: 16.99
Price: 15.66 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 May 2010
Stepping stones to the stars

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About the Author

Terry C. Treadwell is the author of "German Fighter Aces of World War One"and "Ironworks: The Story of Grumman and Its Aircraft," as well as articles in magazines such as "Foundation," the magazine of the Smithsonian Institution. Henry Hartsfield is a retired United States Air Force officer and a former NASA astronaut who logged more than 480 hours in space.

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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could Have Been a Lot Better 14 Jan 2011
By Colin Burgess - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I received this book as a gift, and I'll have to admit that I've only read selected parts. However those parts contain factual errors and if they are indicative of the rest of the book, then I'm afraid I'm not going to enjoy it. Apart from all that - where is the index; where are the sources or references? Where are the bibliography and the copyright-required photo accreditations? As the author of many books on spaceflight history, I find these lapses both annoying and astonishing. Even on the ISBN page the cover photo can't be identified; to say it is Apollo -- instead of Apollo 15 is a poor start to the book (and by the way, Apollo 15 was in July 1971, not April 1971). As well, the back cover photo is misidentified as Bruce McCandless, when in fact it is Edward White II.

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.
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