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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loads Of "Well, I never knew that!" For The Space Junky, 5 Jun 2001
By 
Chris Bittlestone (Newton Abbot, Devon ,UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Disasters and Accidents in Manned Spaceflight (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration) (Paperback)
This was a really informative and interesting read! When I ordered the book I was a bit unsure of whether I could wade through all 500-odd pages, but it was well worth the effort to do so.
The book usefully divides itself into convenient sections , highlighting the risks + dangers not only of space flight itself, but also of the pre-space age pioneers + those mishaps that have befallen would-be astro/cosmonauts in training for flight.
One of the most illuminating aspects of the book is the light that it casts on the Soviet`s mishaps which, it appears, were tragically more frequent + severe than those suffered by the Americans. This goes to underline the cultural + political gulf which existed on each side of the Iron Curtain during the space race - all eyes were on the public U.S. space effort,whereas the Russians usually suffered their problems without public scrutiny, knowledge or criticism. It seems that only the fall of the USSR has now allowed access to information which may have remained hidden.
It`s not just the big glitches and failures that make the pages of this book; a gammut of incidents and "non-nominal" events are focused upon.
The whole book simply underlines the fact that we remain very, very far away from safe, everyday space flight which we must, perhaps, recognise that we may never achieve. What the heck, I`d go tomorrow if NASA gave me a call! Perhaps if they know that I`m thinking of splashing out on an Omega Speedmaster, they`ll send out my invite. I might not have Dennis Tito`s $20,000,000, but I may have my own wristwatch!! For now, I`ll keep dreaming.
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Disasters and Accidents in Manned Spaceflight (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration)
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