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Lost In Space: The Fall of NASA and the Dream of a New Space Age [Klerkx, 2004] (hardcover)
978-0375421501
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Detailed Description

  • Hardcover, 400 pages
  • Pantheon/Random House; (January 13, 2004)
  • ISBN 978-0375421501

In Lost in Space, Greg Klerkx argues that ever since the last human left the moon in 1972, the Space Age has been stuck in the wrong orbit—and NASA, the organization that once fueled the world’s space-faring hopes, has been largely responsible for keeping it there. With the loss of the space shuttle Columbia, there has never been a more critical time for anyone interested in the future of space exploration to ask two questions: Whatever happened to the Space Age? And how do we get it back?

In pursuit of answers to these questions, Klerkx goes behind the scenes to reveal how NASA devolved from a pioneer of new horizons to a blundering bureaucracy concerned mainly with its own continued existence. Klerkx describes how NASA became dependent on projects geared mainly toward the needs of its budgetary allies—leading contractors in the “big aerospace” community—while drifting ever further from the public that had once cheered on its efforts to explore humankind’s last frontier. Chief among his criticisms, Klerkx makes clear the misguided and expensive folly of the space shuttle—“the Edsel of space transportation”—and chronicles NASA’s clumsy development of the money-gobbling International Space Station.

A damning, eye-opening indictment of NASA, Lost in Space is filled with fascinating perspectives on the ideas and technology behind modern space travel. But above all, Lost in Space is a story of people: some who devoted their lives to NASA and continue to believe in its promise, and others who became embittered by NASA’s failures and have struck out on their own, thereby giving rise to the “alternative” space movement that may hold the key to the future of humans in space—with or without NASA.
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