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Final Countdown NASA and the End of the Space Shuttle Program [Duggins, 2007] (softcover)
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Detailed Description

Surveying the history of the space shuttle, Duggins delivers descriptions of the system amid explanations of the aims of human spaceflight. Knowledgeable on the subject as NPR's space-shuttle reporter, Duggins relates the technological and financial compromises that resulted in the final design of the shuttle launch configuration, which is far different from NASA's original blueprint. Nevertheless, it was the ticket to space, and Duggins' original narrative elements portray the experiences of several shuttle crew members in applying to become astronauts and recounts their subsequent missions. For backdrop to these human-interest stories, Duggins constructs the arc of shuttle history, including the Challenger and Columbia catastrophes, of course, but emphasizing the shuttle's chronic problems of costliness and of the search for an inspiring purpose. After assembling the International Space Station, the shuttle was retired, leaving NASA shooting for the moon again with proposed successor spacecraft depicted in image and word. With its history and status-report aspects, his informed report will engage readers concerned with the space program. Taylor, Gilbert

able of Contents
Ch. 1: The Future
Ch. 2: New Spaceship, New Astronauts
Ch. 3: 1981: The Path to STS-1
Ch. 4: 1982-1985: The Curse of Being Routine
Ch. 5: 1986: "Don't Call Unless It Blows Up"
Ch. 6: The Investigation
Ch. 7: 1988-1992: Back on the Horse
Ch. 8: 1993: The Road to Mir
Ch. 9: 1998: ISS, the Shotgun Marriage
Ch. 10: Columbia
Ch. 11: The Aftermath
Ch. 12: Back on the Horse, Again
Ch. 13: The Moon, Maybe, but Mars?
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STL Errata

Chapter 1 of "The Logic of Microspace"