Aiming for the Stars (Hardcover)

The Dreamers and Doers of the Space Age

By Tom D. Crouch

Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 9781560983866, 352pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 1999

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (8/17/2000)

List Price: 29.95*
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Aiming for the Stars explores the motivations, goals, trials, and triumphs of the people who pioneered space exploration from the sixteenth century to the modern era. Tom D. Crouch describes space travel's emergence from the pages of science fiction into the laboratories of twentieth-century rocketeers such as Wernher von Braun, who masterminded Nazi rocket development and later became a key figure in the U.S. space program, and Sergei Korolev, an engineer whose successful launches became the foundation of Soviet Cold War policy. The book also explains the goals nad missions of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs and describes the 1986 Challenge disaster, the spacefaring adventurs of astronaut Shannon Lucid, and the fortunes of the Mir space station in the wake of glasnost. Linking individual obsessions and achievements with the political events and social currents that surrounded them, the book offers a wide-ranging view of the attempt to explore the final frontier.

About the Author

Tom D. Crouch is senior curator of aeronautics at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and the author of numerous award-winning books on aerospace history.