A projection into the future, this deals with the launching of a U.S. manned craft into orbit. It is the story, in particular, of Dick Simmons, a barely average high school student, whose intense interest in the project transforms him into a brilliant and valuable member of the crew. Based on factual material concerning U.S. work in outer space research, this story vividly portrays a young man's fierce struggle in learning to learn. His success depends on his using every gift at his disposal, and the talent he uses to achieve his end is surprising to him as it will be to the reader. An engrossing story, both from the point of view of human insight it imparts and from its ingenious use of scientific data.