We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 Audiobook

Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011: Outward Odyssey: A People's History of Space

Regular Price:$24.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Humanity's first reusable spacecraft and the most complex machine ever built, NASA's space shuttle debuted with great promise and as a dependable source of wonder and national pride. But with the Challenger catastrophe in 1986, the whole space shuttle program came into question, as did NASA itself, so long an institution that was seemingly above reproach.

Wheels Stop tells the stirring story of how, after the Challenger disaster, the space shuttle not only recovered but went on to perform its greatest missions. From the Return to Flight mission of STS-26 in 1988 to the last shuttle mission ever on STS-135 in 2011, Wheels Stop takes listeners behind the scenes as the shuttle's crews begin to mend Cold War tensions with the former Soviet Union, conduct vital research, deploy satellites, repair the Hubble Space Telescope, and assist in constructing the International Space Station. It also tells the heart-wrenching story of the Columbia tragedy and the loss of the magnificent STS-107 crew.

As complex as the shuttle was, the people it carried into orbit were often more so - and this is their story, too. Close encounters with astronauts, flight controllers, and shuttle workers capture the human side of the space shuttle's amazing journey - and invite listeners along for the ride.

The book is published by University of Nebraska Press.

©2013 Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska (P)2015 Redwood Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"With the Space Shuttle program now at an end, documenting the amazing thirty-year career of these iconic orbiters holds an untold amount of historical importance. Spaceflight isn't easy, people pay in blood and sweat to make it happen. Rick Houston lends a voice to some of the key people involved in what is not only an American treasure but a global superstar." (Chris Bergin, NASASpaceflight.com)

"Enthusiastic portrayal of the heroic age of American space travel." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (154 )
5 star
 (81)
4 star
 (32)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
4.4 (144 )
5 star
 (90)
4 star
 (32)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (2)
Story
3.6 (146 )
5 star
 (68)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (24)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Ken 01-07-16
    Ken 01-07-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Finished it in three days!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, Yes and Yes! This is an incredible book. The book is almost 18 hrs long and I couldn't stop listening! I have always been fascinated by the Space Shuttle program so, on the advice of my favorite Amazon reviewer, "Dad of Divas," I got the hardcover. Problem is I never had time to get past the intro so I was delighted to see that it came out in audio. I could not improve on "Dad's" review so I have posted part of it below. I agree heartily with every word. Wonderful book!


    Which character – as performed by James Killavey – was your favorite?

    Non fiction so no real characters although he did do a nice French accent for the French Astronaut.....and...I am going to quote an Amazon review below but, obviously he read it not heard it so...I liked this reader. I thought he was good. HOWEVER...Use common sense and listen to the sample before you get it. I have never heard this guy before but I have read reviews of narrators that I thought were good who were trashed be some listeners. ( always a minority ) Why? I'm not sure except that narrator styles seem to be very much a personal thing so...Do the sensible thing and listen to the sample first. I will never understand why people don't take a few minutes to do this and than write nasty reviews about the narrators. Use common sense! You wouldn't buy a car without taking a test drive, right?


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Too many to mention.


    Any additional comments?

    Here is some of "Dad of Divas" review of the book which convinced me to get the print version and now the audio. This guy is a "Top 500" reviewer and I have never regretted getting anything that he liked."This was a great book filled with stories, some that I was aware of, but so many that were new to me. As someone who grew up with the highs and lows of the space shuttle, I loved reading this and appreciated all of the intricate details that were included in this book. There was so much that I was unaware of and this book shares it with the reader. You not only gain a better understanding of the technical side of things in regards to space travel and the shuttle, but you also get to know the people through the interviews and so much more that the author shares. On each page you are transported further and further into the book and even though at first the book may seem long, you will find yourself flying through this and compelled to read even more (or at least I was).I highly recommend this to all, as it offers rich description and detail as well as unprecedented access to insider interviews and research that I have never come across before in a book on this topic before!"

    81 of 82 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl 01-08-16
    Carl 01-08-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating behind the scenes look"
    What did you love best about Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011?

    The interviews and quotes from the actual astronauts and mission control people.


    What other book might you compare Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 to and why?

    Can't think of anything like this.


    Have you listened to any of James Killavey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. I like him but, as another reviewer said...tastes vary...so do the smart thing and listen to the sample first.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Cried a bit at the details of the two disasters...one going up and one coming down. Very sad.


    Any additional comments?

    A really fascinating behind the scenes look at some of our bravest and smartest people. The machine was incredible...and so were they!

    71 of 72 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy 01-10-16
    Tracy 01-10-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    227
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insightful"
    What made the experience of listening to Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 the most enjoyable?

    The behind the scenes detail..the author actually met and talked to many of the astronauts and people in mission control.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011?

    Too many too count.


    What about James Killavey’s performance did you like?

    Did a nice job.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Wheels Stop


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent book. It was long but I couldn't stop listening and was sad when it was over.
    I'll probably listen again in a few months.

    68 of 69 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shamus 01-12-16
    Shamus 01-12-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not technical...just fantastic!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 to be better than the print version?

    Yes...felt like the author and the people he interviewed were talking to me.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011?

    Just too many to list.


    What does James Killavey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Did a good job. Nice voice and nice pacing and I would never have had time to sit down and read a book this long. Got through it in less than a week during my daily commute.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    They Were Heroes


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a technical book. It tells the stories of the Space Shuttle program in stories and first person interviews. The interviewees' honest stories make it easy to imagine what it was like being there. This book also describes the EVA experience in a lot of detail. What an experience that must have been!

    66 of 67 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Humphrey 01-10-16
    Humphrey 01-10-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really good book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes...a huge part of American history in great detail.


    What other book might you compare Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 to and why?

    Can't think of any.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scenes about what the Astronauts did after the program ended...like Jerry Ross climbing Mt. Everest!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Wheels Stop...without all the dates.


    Any additional comments?

    Really enjoyed this book. Fascinating stuff and the reader did a good job which only added to the experience.

    65 of 66 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cindilla Hartford, CT 01-18-16
    cindilla Hartford, CT 01-18-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    749
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    121
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great behind the scenes look"
    If you could sum up Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating, Heroes, Proud


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All of the astronauts.


    Have you listened to any of James Killavey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Have heard many of his books...one of my favorite narrators ...however...not everyone feels that way so...Listen to the sample to be sure.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    WHEELS STOP: GREATNESS ACHIEVED


    Any additional comments?

    Loved the many interviews and anecdotes that you would not get just from watching TV or reading a straight history.

    60 of 61 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chelsea 01-24-16
    Chelsea 01-24-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kept My Interest"
    Where does Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the most interesting.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Really can't pick just one. All of the astronauts were amazing, smart and brave people!


    Which character – as performed by James Killavey – was your favorite?

    The French astronaut..He did a credible French accent for him.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes...laughed a number of times at the first person anecdotes. Cried at the details of the two the exploded.


    Any additional comments?

    Normally bios and histories tend to lose my interest after a while. Not this time. I think it was because the author sprinkled it with so many of the astronauts actual works and stories.

    58 of 59 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Caudill 02-13-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating"
    What made the experience of listening to Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 the most enjoyable?

    Th unique and detailed stories that I have never heard before


    What other book might you compare Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 to and why?

    Nothing that I have read. This was all new to me and I loved it!


    What does James Killavey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A unique story-telling experience


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The discussions of the issues with Challenger definitely stood out in my mind


    Any additional comments?

    Great book overall!

    45 of 46 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon 05-16-16
    Brandon 05-16-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    83
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best of the series...so far"
    Would you listen to Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011 again? Why?

    No...once is enough.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I've read a number of this"History of Spaceflight" series. "Wheels Stop," like all of them is
    very good, as are all the books in the series. And as far as I know, it's the only one
    in audiobook form, which was a big plus for me. I was able to get through it on my
    daily commute to work.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No....took about a week of commuting as well as a few around town errands on the weekends. In fact, I found myself looking for excuses to drive just so I could listen to it.!


    Any additional comments?

    Wheels Stop has a fast-paced, highly readable style, in which the author presents a fascinating collection of oral-history-type anecdotes based on his extensive interviews with astronauts, program managers, technicians, administrators and ground-support engineers who were involved in those flights, all organized within a relatively loose structure of program and flight events.
    The personal approach made this even better than some of the "drier" in the series and the reader was very good, which certainly helped.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny 05-16-16
    Jenny 05-16-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard to stop listening"
    What did you love best about Wheels Stop: The Tragedies and Triumphs of the Space Shuttle Program, 1986-2011?

    The personal touch. Lots of stories and background from the people involved. Things you never saw on the news when it was happening.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I found the whole thing fascinating.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Stuff I never knew...like what some of the astronauts did after they retired was very interesting.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes...the two tragedies.


    Any additional comments?

    Reader did a very good job.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.