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Test Gods: Tragedy And Triumph In The New Space Race [Paperback-2021]
Nicholas Schmidle
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Category:SciencePopular SciencePopular Science-Gsc
Publisher: Hutchinson Uk | ISBN: 9781786331861 | Pages: 352

Meet the astronauts leading the way to a new world of space travel. An instant classic. SCOTT KELLY, astronaut and author of Endurance Adventure in its purest form - rich with risk, courage and friendships. BEAR GRYLLS So exciting. A new generation with The Right Stuff. DAN SNOW _______________________________ When Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004, his goal was simple: to offer paying customers a trip to space by the end of the decade. Seventeen years, countless delays, and one catastrophic crash later, his space tourism dream may finally be on the verge of becoming a reality. New Yorker journalist Nicholas Schmidle knows that story intimately. He spent nearly four years embedded with Virgin Galactic at its California hangar, meeting the individuals working to make commercial space travel possible. Now, Schmidle offers the definitive account of life inside the new space race. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with Virgin s lead test pilot, Mark Stucky, Test Gods describes the making of a modern astronaut. Schmidle recounts Stucky s life - from starry-eyed youth to NASA, the Air Force, and Virgin Galactic; and through dozens of gruelling test flights to his first successful trip beyond the earth s atmosphere. Along the way, we meet the colourful cast of engineers, executives and mechanics battling to take Virgin to space. There s Branson, who emerges as an excitable if overoptimistic evangelist for commercial space travel. There s Mike Moses, Virgin Galactic s grounded, unflappable president. And there s Mike Alsbury, the pilot whose momentary miscalculation sends his aircraft crashing into the Mojave Desert - making him one of the first casualties of the new space race. The result is a compelling examination of the inner lives of a new generation of astronauts. Theirs is a world where the line between lunacy and genius is blurred, and where no sacrifice is too great in pursuit of the dream of space travel. _______________________________ If you want to know what being a test pilot truly looks and feels and even smells like, read this riveting book. Schmidle has done something remarkable, capturing all the visceral grit we experience inside the cockpit, in addition to all the tragedies and triumphs that we encounter along the way. This is the book about the new space race you ve been waiting to read. SCOTT KELLY, astronaut and author of Endurance A hurtling narrative about the test pilots of the Virgin Galactic space program, Test Gods is a hugely ambitious feat of reporting and storytelling and a fitting twenty-first-century sequel to The Right Stuff. Schmidle captures not just the technical wizardry of the spaceships and the envelope-pushing prowess of the pilots, but also the very real costs, for the pilots and their families, of reaching for something beyond this world. PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE, author of Say Nothing

About the Author

Nicholas Schmidle writes for the New Yorker and is the author of To Live or To Perish Forever: Two Tumultuous Years in Pakistan. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Atlantic, Slate, Washington Post, and many others. Schmidle has been a National Magazine Award finalist, a two-time Livingston Award finalist, and winner of a Kurt Schork Award. He is a former fellow at the Institute of Current World Affairs, the New America Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and was resident at the Rockefeller s Foundation s Bellagio Center. In 2017, Schmidle was a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University. He currently lives in London with his family.

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