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Started by FGBFGB on Oct 5, 2020 9:48:05 PM
Recommendations for a good history of the space programme...

... Soviet, American and other, please.

FGBFGB - 05 Oct 2020 21:48:27 (#1 of 30)

I have already got The Right Stuff.

ZimAgain - 05 Oct 2020 23:36:38 (#2 of 30)

You might find some good stuff here:

Haven't checked any of them out, so feel free to shout bollocks.

brooklyn - 05 Oct 2020 23:49:23 (#3 of 30)

the "Hidden Figures" book got praise. apparently it goes back to WW II, though of course it doesn't go on forever. and it has a particular (and important) angle to pursue.

champagnerocker - 06 Oct 2020 00:02:09 (#4 of 30)

If you have a background / interest in chemistry then I can strongly recommend "Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants" by JD Clark. It has some very entertaining descriptions of many extremely dangerous cock ups in an attempt to find reliable fuel oxider mixes that worked.

Snarlygog - 06 Oct 2020 02:08:17 (#5 of 30)

This was my Go to book back in the 80s.

Cordelia - 06 Oct 2020 06:27:34 (#6 of 30)

Go, Flight!: The Unsung Heroes of Mission Control, 1965–1992 is excellent.

There’s a documentary based on the book as well (it was on Netflix, not sure if it still is) which focuses mainly on the Apollo missions but the book includes so much more.

TheExcession - 06 Oct 2020 09:10:15 (#7 of 30)

I have an excellent book called 'In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility 1965-69' by Francis French. It goes through the programme mission by mission and quotes heavily from interviews with loads of people who were involved at all levels.

It's the middle volume of a three book series (which I didn't realise when I bought it, and I keep meaning to buy the others. There's also an accompanying feature length TV documentary)

The first volume is 'Into That Silent Sea' and the third is 'Footprints in the Dust' although this one is credited to Colin Burgess.

Dementor - 06 Oct 2020 09:23:53 (#8 of 30)

Space Program, ffs.

InternationalVicar - 06 Oct 2020 09:26:35 (#9 of 30)

or программа, ffs

bossab2 - 16 Oct 2020 21:54:01 (#10 of 30)

The book of the Apollo 13 mission is good.

It gets over the idea of being millions of miles from home, in a damp tin can.

ZimAgain - 16 Oct 2020 23:24:33 (#11 of 30)

Hundreds of thousands of miles, ffs. You've been watching Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home again, haven't you?

bossab2 - 16 Oct 2020 23:35:32 (#12 of 30)

Yes. Got a bit keen with the distance there :-)

redginger - 25 Oct 2020 18:40:56 (#13 of 30)

The Soviet Space Program, the Lunar Mission Years 1959-1976. Evgen Reicht.

FGBFGB - 14 Nov 2020 09:41:49 (#14 of 30)

Belated but sincere thanks for all your suggestions. One of the links mentioned the BBC series 'Space Race', which along with 'The Right Stuff' revived my boyhood interest in this.

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FGBFGB - 20 Nov 2020 21:46:20 (#16 of 30)

'In the Shadow of the Moon' arrived today. Looks good.

dreams99 - 20 Nov 2020 21:53:40 (#17 of 30)

Listen to the recent bbc podcast 13 minutes to the moon.

champagnerocker - 20 Nov 2020 23:08:11 (#18 of 30)

I started listening to 13 minutes to the moon last year. It is perfectly decent and with a few good first hand accounts, and its certainly worth a recommend.

So apologies that what follows will sound bitchy.

However, I did find myself getting increasingly frustrated listening to it. In the same way that ancient Rome went ~800 years unconquered and is full of epic stories... but we nearly only ever the same chunk from 49-44BC spoon fed to us, those particular 13 minutes of space history have been done to death, and I didn't think it really added anything new.

There is only so many times I can listen to an indifferent presenter trying to build up tension with a 1202 program alarm and some fuel readouts like its a souffle not rising and time running out on Bake Off.

AdonisBlue - 20 Nov 2020 23:45:14 (#19 of 30)

Meh yeah landing on the moon wasn't all that. Look at my mobile phone! That's progress.

I would say the exact opposite. You want to public to remain interested (and therefore fund) space travel. Then you want big sexy projects and you want to remind them of big sexy projects like the moon landings. We need to go on about it. Half the planet already believes it never happened as space travel ground to a halt afterwards. So little has happened since that many can't believe we ever did it. That will grow. The part in Interstellar where the teacher tells the dad off for teaching that the hoax moon landings were real isn't fiction, it's the future.

Too often we are now presented with a super exciting space breakthrough and it really isn't super exciting to anyone but the scientists.

Fuck me we landed on the fucking moon! If we go on about it a bit well fair enough. If you are bored of it don't watch or listen.

There's plenty of documentaries out there about the more esoteric Russian space program, first man in space etc.

dreams99 - 20 Nov 2020 23:47:47 (#20 of 30)

those particular 13 minutes of space history have been done to death, and I didn't think it really added anything new.

I learned a lot from it, and there were lots of interviews with the participants.

But of course, if you know everything already, then it won't tell you anything you don't know.

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