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Dragonfly: NASA And The Crisis Aboard Mir (1998)

Tekijä: Bryan Burrough

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
322581,474 (3.73)10
Space is dangerous. Life in space unbearably fragile. Blasting across it in a rocket is daring enough, but to really claim it, to tame it, you have to stay there, to live in it. Only a few have tried, in every case their courage beyond question. Because in space even a fleck of paint can be deadly. Spacewalking outside the Mir station, though seemingly tranquil, is in effect walking at 18000 miles per hour. That one fleck of paint has the destructive power of a dum-dum bullet.… (lisätietoja)
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näyttää 5/5
In the late 90s, NASA and the Russians instituted a program to send US astronauts to the space station Mir. During the course of that program, many, many thing went wrong aboard the aging, poorly maintained station, including a fire and a collision that caused an entire module of the station to depressurize. This book covers those events, as well as everything that led up to them. A lot of it is not pretty, as Burroughs portrays a NASA fraught with internal politics, personality conflicts, and a neglectful attitude towards their people on Mir, as well as Russian cultural norms that overwork cosmonauts, devalue safety and initiative, and encourage cover-ups and scapegoating when things go wrong.

It's interesting stuff, all of which I was only very, very vaguely familiar with from the news at the time. (Which, in itself, probably says quite a bit about how little anyone cared about Mir. Although, no doubt, it also says something about how much attention I payed to the news back then.) But I can't quite decide whether to praise it as a fearless examination of some of the darker sides of space travel, or complain because its relentless focus on the negative feels very one-sided. ( )
  bragan | Sep 22, 2015 |
3 1/2 stars: Good.

Documents the history of the joint US/Russian (astronanut/ cosmonaut) ventures aboard Mir, and particularly a series of accidents, including a fire and a collision which then precipitated multiple power outages and systems failures. This is spelled out well in this wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuttle%E2%80%93Mir_Program#Fire_and_collision_.281...

This book could have used some editing; while I often like details, and appreciated that it covered as much on the ground in Houston and Star City, Russia, as it did on Mir, it was over detailed and I did lose interest in some points.

The biggest take home message for me, was how Russia and the US truly view safety differently. Russians are willing to take more risks, because their culture views death different than we do in the US. They felt in order to push the boundaries in space, you needed risk, and that might mean loss of life. I truly understand both views here.

There were numerous safety reviews in the US, most of which said Mir was still safe (post-events above). Two people quite outspoken that it was not were Gene Kranz, who stated there were two NASA safety standards: one for US ops, and one for Russian ops. Also Dick Truly. Both are highly respected within NASA.

The book was published, as the International Space Station was being built. The commentary at the end was that there will be problems, and they will need to be fixed. How we address them, may influence our future space exploration.

A good book, a little better with some editing. ( )
  PokPok | Dec 2, 2012 |
An interesting look at the technical problems and political infighting during the Shuttle-Mir program. The stories of the crew and the hardships they endured were generally more attention-getting than the background and political aspects, but those did help provide a foundation for understanding how some of the events played out. ( )
  TonyOlivero | Nov 30, 2010 |
A thorough yet engaging study of the relationship between the cosmonauts and astronauts at Mir. Transcripts and photos. ( )
  Redsfan | Jun 3, 2008 |
On shelf
  CAHC.CCPA | Nov 13, 2022 |
näyttää 5/5
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (4)

Space is dangerous. Life in space unbearably fragile. Blasting across it in a rocket is daring enough, but to really claim it, to tame it, you have to stay there, to live in it. Only a few have tried, in every case their courage beyond question. Because in space even a fleck of paint can be deadly. Spacewalking outside the Mir station, though seemingly tranquil, is in effect walking at 18000 miles per hour. That one fleck of paint has the destructive power of a dum-dum bullet.

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