- Paperback: 318 pages
- Publisher: M. Evans& Co Inc (1 Dec. 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0871318474
- ISBN-13: 978-0871318473
- Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.4 x 22.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,552,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Halfway to Anywhere: Achieving America's Destiny in Space Paperback – 1 Dec 1996
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The story of the reusable, economical Single-Stage-To-Orbit (SSTO) spaceship, built in twenty months from parts found in space junkyards and WalMart, provides information on how and why these commercial spaceships can benefit the space program.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It is not a geek book, is not for "rocket scientists".
It is a very clear true story of now government works (and how it stops things from working). Also enlightening simply for how Reagan's "Star Wars" was not exactly what it was reported to be, and how regular people got together and *almost* got something amazing past the "military industrial complex"
A good portion of the book is spent describing recent developments and how they have been "molded" by organizational egos, political maneuvering, and power plays, by everyone including industry, NASA, Congress, the DOD, and various "interest groups". As an engineer and researcher myself, I often found it tempting to sit back and snicker with an anti-establishment attitude at what often appears to be unwise or biased decisions that were not for the "better good" of our country. This said, I think that the reader must bear in mind that there is usually more than one side to an issue, and rarely will they be justly told by the same source. While originally scoffed at, as Stine's history unfolds, the SSTO concept becomes generally accepted. A degree of reconciliation develops between the various "factions", though a distinct "I told you so" attitude in the book's wording occasionally distracts the reader from the most effective message of the book, namely the importance of this work, both technologically, and economically.
In short, Stine gives a sometimes-biased, though always interesting account of what the subject of Reusable Launch Vehicles is all about (at least at present). Perhaps more importantly, he tells us WHY we should care, particularly in light of the relatively small costs, and the potentially large return on investment. Of course it must continue to be done "correctly", and not evolve into a thinly disguised "technical jobs program" that produces little more than paper at the cost of billions.