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4.0 out of 5 stars A Steep Learning Curve, 23 May 2011
By 
Y. Juhani Westman "Juhani Westman" (Helsinki Finland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How NASA Learned to Fly in Space (Paperback)
Some of us may remember Alan Shepard and John Glenn of the Mercury Program, everybody knows what Neil Armstrong said when stepping down on the surface of the Moon, but in between there was an vast gap of unknowns that had to be filled out, dealt with and learned to handle. The Gemini Program is that nowadays largely unsung manned program that filled most of the gaps in NASA-s knowledge and understanding of what manned space flight would be about. Half a century later the story does it's part in filling the gaps in our knowledge and understanding. In the summer of 1962 the President of the USA, John F Kennedy, gave the second of his speeches on the goals of space flight at Rice University in Texas, ending with an exhortation: "to achieve all that we have to be bold." The Astronauts were - and are - bold , it comes with the job, but in those days the NASA leadership also shew that boldness, which is needed when advancing the frontiers of mankind. This is the story of a steep learning curve taking the US space flight capacity from just enduring a few hours or days of weightlessness to the ability to maneuver, rendezvous, dock and generally master the spacecrafts. The Apollo crafts took men to the Moon, but the Gemini flights were essential in opening the gates. All this and more is told - and explained - by Mr Harland, whose name along the years has become a guarantee of quality. He does not let us down this time either. There are other books on the technical nitty-gritty, here we have the technical and human drama. Aficionados and newcomers to the field, enjoy!
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How NASA Learned to Fly in Space
How NASA Learned to Fly in Space by David M. Harland (Paperback - 23 Jun 2010)
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