Journey Into Space: The First Three Decades of Space Exploration

Bruce C. Murray, Author W. W. Norton & Company $19.95 (381p) ISBN 978-0-393-02675-7
Former head of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (the center of the U.S. planetary program), Murray was a major figure in America's early, golden age in space. As a key insider, he recreates the drama of the unnamed space probes, then relates how he watched in sorrow and frustration as the program became ``a helpless hostage'' to the phase of NASA's Space Shuttle program that culminated in the 1986 Challenger disaster. A passionate advocate of renewed national commitment to robotic planetary exploration, he calls for a second ``golden age'' and is particularly keen on the prospect of an international mission to Mars. His detailed criticism of the leadership of NASA (``that rapidly declining institution'') will be of interest to anyone concerned over America's loss of leadership in space. Murray is cofounder, with Carl Sagan, of the Planetary Society, a public-interest organization dedicated to planetary exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life. In an appendix he discusses the work of the society and defines what he believes to be the most important question of all: ``Are we alone in space?'' Illustrations. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-393-30703-0
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