Rocketeers: Visionaries and Daredevils of the New Sp

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Harper Collins, Oct 13, 2009 - Technology & Engineering - 320 pages
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“That this story is still unfolding makes it especially exciting to read. These men are still in their workshops, tinkering their way into orbit.” —David Gelles, FORBES

On June 21, 2004, SpaceShipOne, built by aircraft designer Burt Rutan, entered space and ushered in the commercial space age. Investment capital began to pour into the new commercial spaceflight industry. Richard Branson’s VirginGalactic plans to ferry space tourists out of the atmosphere. Las Vegas hotelier Robert Bigelow is developing the world’s first commercial space station (i.e., space hotel). These space entrepreneurs, including Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, now see space as the next big thing.

In Rocketeers, Michael Belfiore goes behind the scenes of this nascent industry, capturing its wild-west, anything-goes flavor. Likening his research to “hanging out in the Wright brothers’ barn,” Belfiore offers an inspiring and entertaining look at the people who are not afraid to make their bold dreams a reality.

“The commercial space race is heating up so fast you need a cheat sheet to keep track of all the billionaires and gamblers vying to be the first private entrepreneur to blast paying customers into orbit. [Belfiore] does a stellar job introducing an intriguing cast of characters.” —Mark Horowitz, Wired

“The privatization of space travel is an essential step toward realizing our cosmic destiny. In his engaging, highly readable Rocketeers, Michael Belfiore tells the fascinating story of the entrepreneurs who have already made it happen.” —Buzz Aldrin

“A riveting, you-are-there account of how this ragtag collection of innovative thinkers, brave pilots, and bold visionaries is—right now—launching one of the most exciting new industries in history. Belfiore’s eloquent writing and exhaustive reporting really bring this mysterious, secretive world to life.” —Eric Adams, Popular Science

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - delirium - LibraryThing

Though it's already a little out of date, this is an encouraging look at the budding industry of private space travel. Belfiore covers a wide range of "rocketeers," from Virgin tycoon Richard Branson ... Read full review

Rocketeers: how a visionary band of business leaders, engineers, and pilots is boldly privatizing space

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This readable and compelling account of commercial spaceflight opens at the Mojave Desert October 4, 2004, X Prize competition for the first private U.S. space launch, then traces the new space ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
1
Space or Bust
13
Go
32
The Homebuilt Spaceship
55
SpaceShipOne Government Zero
80
NASA Hitches a Ride
112
The 200g Roller Coaster
140
Orbit on a Shoestring
166
Budget Suites of Outer Space
196
Spaceport
219
The Skys No Limit
244
Where Are They Now? 262
Selected Bibliography 297
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About the author (2009)

Michael Belfiore is one of only a handful of freelance journalists covering commercial spaceflight. Born in 1969—the year Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong walked on the moon—Belfiore has always been fascinated by space travel. He lives with his family in Woodstock, New York.

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