Thursday, January 19, 2017
author: Eugen Reichl
average rating: 5.00
read at: 2017/01/19
date added: 2017/01/19
'Project Gemini' by Eugen Reichl is a great look at the Gemini program. It's packed full of facts and photos of the two unmanned and ten manned missions that led directly into the Apollo program.
In the early 1960s, the US was in a race to space against the USSR. The feeling was that we were losing. The Gemini Program was supposed to test and lead the way to putting a man on the moon, a goal stated by President Kennedy. The book talks about prototypes and the kinds of problems that might be faced. Ideas that were tested and never came about like the Parawing are discussed. This was a deployable chute like a hang-glider that would bring the capsule safely back to Earth. The problem is that it never worked right. The problems with early space walks are discussed. Training on the ground didn't prepare for the strenuous conditions in space. The astronaut teams and backups are talked about. Of the 20 astronauts that flew in the Gemini program, 15 flew in the Apollo program.
What I see is the gradual testing and improvement. Things that didn't work got scrapped. Things that did work got improved or further tested. The bravery of these pilots to try this goes unstated, but is apparent when you think about being the first to step outside of a spaceship with not much tethering you to the capsule that is supposed to take you home.
The book has charts of stats for each mission: type of rocket, duration of mission, launch and landing sites, etc. Also included are wonderful photos of the people and machines. At only 144 pages, I'm amazed at how inclusive this felt. I truly enjoyed reading this book.
I received a review copy of this ebook from Schiffer Publishing Ltd. and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
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