Leaving orbit notes from the last days of American spaceflight
In the 1960s, humans took their first steps away from Earth, and for a time our possibilities in space seemed endless. But in a time of austerity and in the wake of high-profile disasters like Challenger, that dream has ended. In early 2011, Margaret Lazarus Dean traveled to Cape Canaveral for NASA's last three space shuttle launches in order to bear witness to the end of an era. With Dean as our guide to Florida's Space Coast and to the history of NASA, Leaving Orbit takes the measure of what American spaceflight has achieved while reckoning with its earlier witnesses, such as Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, and Oriana Fallaci. Along the way, Dean meets NASA workers, astronauts, and space fans, gathering possible answers to the question: What does it mean that a spacefaring nation won't be going to space anymore?
- ISBN: 9781555977092
- ISBN: 155597709X
- Physical Description: 317 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
- Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota : Graywolf Press, 
- Copyright: ©2015
|Bibliography, etc. Note:||
Includes bibliographical references (pages 307-309).
|Formatted Contents Note:||
Prologue: Air and space -- The beginnings of the future: This is Cape Canaveral -- What it felt like to walk on the Moon -- Good-bye, Discovery -- A brief history of the future -- Good-bye, Endeavour -- A brief history of spacefarers -- Good-bye, Atlantis -- The end of the future: Wheel stop -- The future -- Timeline of American spaceflight -- Judge's afterword / Robert Polito.
Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize
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