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Hank Searls has taken an even bigger sky and a fantastic feat which he has transformed here into a credible tale with credible, if not very memorable, characters. A German-American scientist has developed a plan for sending a man to the moon, but he has labelled it unworkable since it has no margin for error. Meanwhile the Russians have already sent a manned capsule around the moon and are obviously ahead in the attempt to land there. This prompts the President to put unworkable plan, the Pilgrim Project, in use, a seemingly suicidal mission for the astronaut involved. He cannot return until a ship is sent to retrieve him-nd the ship hasn't even been built. He will be kept alive by food which will be sent later, and he will live in an airtight shelter which will precede him. Steve Lawrence, whose wife is a reformed alcoholic, is the Crusoe- Lindbergh chosen for the big jump. At first he is as aghast as the reader, as well he might be, but s detail after detail is revealed, the Pilgrim Project becomes amazingly feasible. However, as soon as the shelter is launched, the Reds land their man. Though the project is severely criticized, it suddenly captures the popular imagination, which Searls is happily equal to communicating in a book which will certainly do likewise. And the moonscapes are so good that one regrets all the time spent back in Washington and down at the Cape....

Pub Date: May 25th, 1964
Publisher: McGraw-Hill