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  Dark Side of the Moon: The Magnificent Madness of the American Lunar Quest (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Dark Side of the Moon: The Magnificent Madness of the American Lunar Quest

Posts: 2013
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 03-29-2010 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have just read this by Gerard DeGroot (ISBN 9780224075930). While interesting, some of his comments are quite derogatory towards the 'space race'.

Editor's note: Threads merged.


Posts: 1375
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 01-24-2011 08:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After adding a post about this book before reading it I decided that I should get a copy and read it. DeGroot is a colorful writer and my edition had corrected the Apollo 9 error. But there are many more errors. The book is clearly biased against human spaceflight, but he is welcome to his opinions. But DeGroot mixes fact with his opinions and in almost all cases does not discern between the two, and it appears that he didn't do enough research to adequately portray many of the stories he writes about. In addition to the errors already mentioned, here are a few more.

For instance he writes "Thanks to the magazine (Life) the astronauts had become both rich and famous...". Famous yes; rich no.

Referring to Gene Cernan's Gemini 9 EVA "The unit (AMU) did not work well, causing Cernan to be quickly overcome with fatigue, rather like White the year before". Gene did become fatigued, but not because the AMU didn't work well; he became tired trying to make his way back to the unit and strapping himself in. And I thought White made his EVA look like a cakewalk.

Referring to Apollo 11 when Armstrong was looking for a place to land he states ""He started flying the thing (LM) horizontally at an incredible speed". This is very misleading; it comes across as if Armstrong were flying at a speed of miles per second instead of the more reasonable feet per second.

And there are many more misleading examples. The chapters on Eisenhower read very well in spite of his weak research and propensity to mix opinion with fact. In fact, based on DeGroot's story, I might have sided with the nay-sayers and agreed that the whole moon race was a publicity stunt. But therein lies the problem with Darkside; I just don't know what to believe.


Posts: 140
From: Scotland
Registered: Jun 2009

posted 01-25-2011 04:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hermit   Click Here to Email hermit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by WAWalsh:
... by an author who has spent a little too much time alone on the Scotish highlands with the sheep.

Out there the men are men and the sheep are nervous!


Posts: 544
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 01-25-2011 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually I think that one of the most important aspects of the whole "Space Race" was that it made the Soviets profoundly respectful of what the US could do in a technological field if the US was seriously motivated. This came back to help the US 20 years later when Reagan said that we were going to protect the US via SDI ("Star Wars"). Now while I personally think that protecting the US from a full scale nuclear missile attack is wishful thinking, in politics, perception is reality, and for the Soviet leadership in the latter 1980's, after living through the "Space Race" of the 1960's, the last thing they wanted was to get into a race that they feared they might lose. This gave the US enormous leverage in the latter 1980's.

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