By Robert Zimmerman
Charged with the ever present power for chance and infrequently punctuated via negative moments of catastrophe, the background of house exploration has been keenly dramatic. the hot catastrophe of the gap commute Columbia was once a tragic yet definite reminder that house shuttle is a very harmful profession. Oddly sufficient, it frequently takes a sad coincidence to remind us that we nonetheless have a presence in area. within the many years among triumph and tragedy we have a tendency to forget about the truth that there were ratings of area pioneers who've risked their lives to discover our sunlight approach. certainly, the foreign area Station is typically known as "Alpha," a moniker that means that it really is our first actual everlasting presence in area. yet this suggestion is frowned upon through the Russians - and for stable cause. sooner than the development of the arguable overseas house Station, a bunch of bold Russian cosmonauts, and a smaller variety of intrepid American astronauts, have been residing in area for months, a few of them for over a yr. during this definitive account of man's quest to develop into electorate of the cosmos, famous area historian Robert Zimmerman unearths the good international gamesmanship among Russian and American political leaders that drove us to the celebrities. overwhelmed to the Moon via their chilly warfare enemies, the Russians have been purpose on being first to the planets. They believed that manned area stations held the best promise for achieving different worlds and labored feverishly to construct a achievable area station application - one who could dwarf American efforts and make allowance the Russians to assert the sizeable territories of area as their own.Although unthinkable on the time, the ponderously bureaucratic Soviet Union really controlled to overhaul the USA within the house station race. Leveraging their propaganda desktop and tyrannical politics to release a chain of bold, risky, and scientifically superb house exploits, their efforts not just positioned them some distance sooner than NASA, additionally they helped to reshape their very own society, remodeling it from dictatorship to democracy. whilst, the yank area application at NASA used to be additionally evolving, yet now not unavoidably for the higher. in reality, the 2 courses have been slowly yet inexorably buying and selling areas. Drawing on his substantial shop of information approximately area trip, in addition to 1000's of interviews with cosmonauts, astronauts, and scientists, Zimmerman has beautifully captured the thrill and suspense of our contemporary space-traveling prior. For house and historical past fanatics alike, "Leaving Earth" describes a wealthy background of experience, exploration, study, and discovery.