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Customer Review

on 15 October 2011
As a Brit who followed the space programme in my early teens and who basically cried when I was recently fortunate enough to be in Florida to see Discovery take off for her last mission - I obviously have certain leanings which made me find the content of this book unsatisfactory. As many of the other reviewers have said there are some inaccuracies but I'll put that down to proof reading and some research errors. What I have most issue with is some of the conclusions that DeGroot makes in his book.

I feel a better jacket description would be 'meticulous [selective] archival research" and biased projections and conclusions. He speaks of the billions of dollars expended on the Space Programme but does not seem capable of recognising that a significant percentage of that money was 'recycled' as it came from the tax dollars of people who were working in the Space Programme. He also makes the false conclusion that the billions of dollars would have been spent on earth in the USA on social and domestic projects. History has shown that this would never have happened and will never happen without a 'cause'. History has also shown that 'pure science' (eg unmanned space activities) does not have any significant level of attraction to the people of the world - the key is always humanity and it was essential that man went into space for people on earth to have ANY interest in what NASA was doing.

DeGroot also makes great play on the German/Nazi links to the birth of NASA and America's Space Programme. Whilst nobody should be comfortable with those links (slave labour, etc) it was never the prime driver for most of the people in NASA. I am sure I could do 'meticulous archival research' and show all of the material that marginalised Von Braun and his fellow scientists.

To sum up a different view but not adequately researched or argued to come to any conclusion other than the one he originally set out to arrive at - it was a waste of time and money.
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