• The First Space Race: Launching the World's First Satellites

  • Centennial of Flight Series
  • By: Matthew A. Bille, Erika Lishock
  • Narrated by: Kirk O. Winkler
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 06-20-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.0 (6 ratings)

Regular price: $19.95

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Publisher's Summary

The First Space Race reveals the inside story of an epic adventure with world-altering stakes. From 1955 to 1958, American and Soviet engineers battled to capture the world's imagination by successfully launching the world's first satellite. The race to orbit featured two American teams led by rival services - the US Army and the Navy - and a Soviet effort so secret that few even knew it existed. This race ushered in the Space Age with a saga of science, politics, technology, engineering, and human dreams. Moved by patriotism, inquisitiveness, and pride, people on both sides of the Iron Curtain put forth heroic efforts to make that first satellite possible.
Some aspects of this story, like the US Navy's NOTSNIK satellite project, are almost unknown. Even some details of well-known programs, such as the appearance of America's pioneering Explorer 1 satellite and the contributions made by its rival, Project Vanguard, are generally misremembered. In this book, authors Matt Bille and Erika Lishock tell the whole story of the first space race. They trace the tale from the origins of spaceflight theory and through the military and political events that engendered the all-out efforts needed to turn dreams into reality and thus shape the modern world.
The book is published by Texas A&M University Press.
©2004 Matt Bille and Erika Lishock (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"The authors' enjoyment of their subject shines through....This represents the best narrative available synthesizing this story." (Dr. Roger D. Launius, Chair, Space History, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution)
“This is a remarkable book indeed!” (Ernst Stuhlinger)
“Readers will have difficulty putting down The First Space Race before turning the last page.” (Air Power History)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Jd on 01-26-17

it was just ok. Pretty dry.

maybe Wikipedia would have been the same or better than this book. good general history of the era.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Thermonuclear on 05-24-18

Not bad. Not good.

I enjoyed this book more as it went on. However, and I mention this point from the standpoint of I am providing an honest review based on my experience of this book. The narrator, although very good in delivery, had a slight speech impediment. As much as I am not at all against this or critical of it, it drove me up the wall to the point that I sped up the book to 1.75x just to get it over with. If you struggle with listening to things like that, then maybe try it and if you can't handle it, then return the book. Overall the book is well written and detailed, and tells the story of the less glamorous side of the space race, other than just the moon shots and other such things.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Ash coolman on 04-11-18

Follows the institutions and teams

Does a good job of showing the technical challenges, with enough painting of the backdrop e.g. inter-service rivalry, presidential preferences etc. Does a very good job of articulating the parallel progression of technology,

It does not delve deep into the human experiences, and personal battles, which leaves it slightly dry, but gains it clarity.

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