The Penguin Book of Outer Space Exploration

NASA and the Incredible Story of Human Spaceflight
Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The fascinating story of how NASA sent humans to explore outer space, told through a treasure trove of historical documents - publishing in celebration of NASA's 60th anniversary and with a foreword by Bill Nye.

"An extremely useful and thought provoking documentary journey through the maze of space history. There is no wiser or more experienced navigator through the twists and turns and ups and downs than John Logsdon." (James Hansen, New York Times best-selling author of First Man, now a feature film starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy)

Among all the technological accomplishments of the last century, none has captured our imagination more deeply than the movement of humans into outer space. From Sputnik to SpaceX, the story of that journey - including the inside history of our voyages to the moon depicted in First Man - is told as never before in The Penguin Book of Outer Space Exploration.

Renowned space historian John Logsdon traces the greatest moments in human spaceflight by weaving together essential, fascinating documents from NASA's history with his expert narrative guidance. Beginning with rocket genius Wernher von Braun's vision for voyaging to Mars, and closing with Elon Musk's contemporary plan to get there, this volume traces major events like the founding of NASA, the first American astronauts in space, the Apollo moon landings, the Challenger disaster, the daring Hubble Telescope repairs, and more. 

In this audiobook, we such gems as Eisenhower's reactions to Sputnik, the original NASA astronaut application, John Glenn's reflections on zero gravity, Kennedy's directives to go to the moon, discussions on what Neil Armstrong's first famous first words should be, firsthands accounts of spaceflight, and so much more. 

©2018 John Logsdon (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Brimming with fascinating behind-the-scenes details from the birth of the Space Age through the race to the Moon and beyond, this remarkable collection from one of America's preeminent space historians is a treasure.” (Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon

"As a NASA astronaut, I already knew a lot about the history of human space flight, but this book contained a wealth of new and exciting revelations. I felt like a fly on the wall listening as critical decisions were being made about how to go to the Moon and whether or not to build the Space Shuttle. And what a thrill to read John Glenn’s own summary of his historic Mercury flight! There’s something here for everyone interested in any aspect of human space flight." (Jeff Hoffman, NASA astronaut and MIT professor) 

"Somebody needed to do it. And Professor John Logsdon is uniquely qualified for the task - to reveal the cultural, political, and scientific correspondence that birthed and sustains our era of space exploration. The fits and starts of good ideas, the precarious flows of funding streams, the fickle sentiments of the public will - it’s all there, right on down to transcripts of illuminating conversations held in the Oval Office between the President and key players in this epic adventure." (Neil deGrasse Tyson, New York Times best-selling author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)

What listeners say about The Penguin Book of Outer Space Exploration

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The single most boring book ever!!

Wow!! I buy a lot books regarding space, NASA etc. This is without a doubt the most boring book I have ever purchased. It just contains a lot of official letters and reports being read out loud!! That is literally all it is. The author hasn’t written anything himself, just put together a collection of official documents. Johnathan Davis (who is s legend in my opinion) can’t even make this book interesting. Avoid it at all costs!!

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If you have always wanted to know

I enjoyed this greatly. I learned so much. Very detailed story of NASA. I recommend this book to all space lovers.

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if you want the original document details...

This comprehensive work contains quotes of many of the behind the scenes documents and public pronouncements that shaped and drove manned space flight in America. If you're a fan, hobbiest, or student you'll enjoy this work by the connected and knowledgeable author/editor. Well-read and pleasant to listen to, even when reading numbered lists, I enjoyed the work very much, but it won't be everyone's cup of tea. hopefully this review will help you decide to check it out.