AMERICA ON THE MOON: The Enterprise of the Sixties by Jay Holmes

AMERICA ON THE MOON: The Enterprise of the Sixties

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It has been estimated that it will cost the United States some $20 billion to send two astronauts and a scientist to the moon and bring them safely back. Nearly a decade may be required to do this, and some 2,200 separate tasks must be completed first. Why are our national leaders embarked upon such a massive proposal? ""We need not take a Gallup poll"", replies author Holmes wryly, ""to establish a universal human interest in the nature of the sun, the moon, the stars and planets, which have always been up there, beckoning but unattainable...Now that technology has made them reachable, the people of the world want them explored."" Space news in the rapid-communication media is always somewhat lacking in background information. Public fascination with the subject has already provoked many books, but the demand is nearly unappeasable. Holmes's offering, while superficially a dry recital of project histories, inter-agency rivalries, timetables, and elemental technical theories, also contains a running thread of ideas interesting from the standpoint of the social as well as the physical sciences. Inspiration, national prestige, and the sheer sweep of history are listed as justifications for America's activity in space, along with utility and military value. There is also biographical data on many space scientists, comments on the selection of astronauts, and pointed remarks on the implications of our race with the Soviet Union. While not exactly a popular treatment, it can be understood by the general reader who has sufficient interest in the topic to wade through this comprehensive material. Diagrams, not yet seen.

Pub Date: April 24th, 1962
Publisher: Lippincott