Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Publications & Multimedia
  Into the Black (Rowland White)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Into the Black (Rowland White)
cspg
Member

Posts: 5330
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 03-26-2015 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Into the Black: The Extraordinary Untold Story of the First Flight of the Space Shuttle and the Men Who Flew Her
by Rowland White
with a foreword by Richard Truly
The real-life techno-thriller from a bestselling author and aviation expert that recaptures the historic moments leading up to the launch of the space shuttle Columbia and the exciting story of her daring maiden flight.

Using interviews, NASA oral histories, and recently declassified material, Into the Black pieces together the dramatic untold story of the Columbia mission and the brave people who dedicated themselves to help the United States succeed in the age of space exploration. On April 12, 1981, NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It was the most advanced, state-of-the-art flying machine ever built, challenging the minds and imagination of America's top engineers and pilots. Columbia was the world's first real spaceship: a winged rocket plane, the size of an airliner, and capable of flying to space and back before preparing to fly again.

On board were moonwalker John Young and test pilot Bob Crippen. Less than an hour after Young and Crippen's spectacular departure from the Cape, all was not well. Tiles designed to protect the ship from the blowtorch burn of re-entry were missing from the heat shield. If the damage to Columbia was too great, the astronauts wouldn't be able to return safely to earth. NASA turned to the National Reconnaissance Office, a spy agency hidden deep inside the Pentagon whose very existence was classified. To help the ship, the NRO would attempt something never done before. Success would require skill, perfect timing, and luck.

Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, Into the Black is a thrilling race against time and the incredible true story of the first space shuttle mission that celebrates our passion for spaceflight

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Touchstone (April 19, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1501123629
  • ISBN-13: 978-1501123627

Spoon
Member

Posts: 92
From: Carlisle, England
Registered: May 2006

posted 03-12-2016 10:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spoon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I picked this up in the new non-fiction section of my local bookshop. I wasn't aware of it before today. There are three photographic sections within the 436 pages.

I haven't started reading it yet, but some of the luminaries praising it on the dust jacket are Mike Foale, David Scott, Mike Mullane and Chris Hadfield. Looks interesting.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 34996
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-13-2016 12:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Into the Black" flew into the black...
Cambridge Man Returns Space Shuttle to Space

Cambridge based author Rowland White is a man with a lifelong ambition to go into space.

On 12th April, the 35th anniversary of the maiden flight of space shuttle Columbia, Rowland took a step closer to his childhood dream by launching a copy of his new critically acclaimed book, "Into the Black," the story of the first flight of NASA's revolutionary space shuttle, to the edge of space.

"Into the Black" was a 'labour of love' (The Times), and the culmination of a boyhood obsession. The space shuttle was the spaceship of Rowland's generation — not even born when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Obsessed with aeroplanes as a boy and on the back of Star Wars, Star Trek, and James Bond's Moonraker, the shuttle completely captured Rowland's imagination. He even rigged up a cassette recorder in front of the TV to record the BBC's pre-launch commentary.

Rowland comments: "The shuttle was grounded in 2011. But on the 35th anniversary of the first flight, it seemed fitting to return her to space — where she belonged — one last time as a reminder of the incredible achievement she represented. I want to rekindle a bit of the awe and wonder she generated when she first flew. The shuttle was the last great achievement of the Apollo generation."

The launch is particularly timely given Tim Peake's current location. Without the shuttle, it is safe to say there would have been no space station. Taking astronauts to and from a space station was what she was built to do.

As Rowland explains: "To send a book into space while a British astronaut orbits Earth is the icing on the cake. I was in touch with Tim Peake before his launch and I'll be tweeting him about our anniversary "shuttle launch." And telling him that there's a copy of 'Into the Black' waiting for him on his return — delivered by more traditional methods. But here's hoping that Tim will look out of the window and catch sight of this one though!"

DeepSea
Member

Posts: 60
From:
Registered: Jun 2014

posted 04-13-2016 01:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DeepSea     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vulcan 607 was an excellent read, so hopefully his angle on STS-1 will be interesting.

Spoon
Member

Posts: 92
From: Carlisle, England
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-14-2016 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spoon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Enjoying the book so far, for what it's worth.

contra
Member

Posts: 314
From: Kiel, Germany
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 04-14-2016 02:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for contra   Click Here to Email contra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just finished the book and have just one comment: 'EXCELLENT.'

David C
Member

Posts: 470
From: Pasadena
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 04-14-2016 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please can anyone that has this in hard copy let me know if it contains pictures or diagrams? I'm considering getting it on Kindle, and those don't tend to come out particularly well.

David C
Member

Posts: 470
From: Pasadena
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 04-16-2016 10:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To answer my own question, yes it does.

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2787
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 04-20-2016 09:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just learned via my friend John McGauley that I'm mentioned in Roland White's book "Into the Black" (page 387).

This book was already on my must by list, but it gets moved up a bit!

David C
Member

Posts: 470
From: Pasadena
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 04-29-2016 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just finished this. Although it seems to be aimed at a general audience, I reckon it's still worth reading by those who've followed the shuttle in more detail. There's a handful of errors (mostly inconsequential), and a few contentious points, but overall very good indeed. Oh, and the pictures on the Kindle edition are good quality and just about large enough.
quote:
Originally posted by KSCartist:
Just learned via my friend John McGauley that I'm mentioned in Roland White's book "Into the Black" (page 387).
Tim, did you ever produce a design for STS-62A?

APG85
Member

Posts: 291
From:
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 06-03-2016 07:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fantastic book with great details of the beginning of the Shuttle program. Couldn't put it down!

p51
Member

Posts: 1421
From: Olympia, WA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 06-03-2016 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just got this yesterday along with the second "Blue Gemini" book. Gotta flip a coin to see which one I'll start reading first...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 34996
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-14-2016 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently finished reading "Into the Black" and thought it was excellent. Though many of the stories were ones I had read or heard of before, there were enough new insights to make this a page turner.

Of particular note is how the history of the the Manned Orbiting Laboratory shaped the development of the space shuttle, in no small part due to the transplanted MOL astronauts and the pivotal roles they played in the early NASA program.

White's approach to telling the history of the space shuttle reads more like a novel than it does a text book, which is what really makes "Into the Black" an enjoyable, easy read.

I will be writing more about "Into the Black" as part of collectSPACE's coverage of the upcoming STS-1 and STS-2 35th anniversary celebration being hosted by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation in Houston this September.

p51
Member

Posts: 1421
From: Olympia, WA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 07-14-2016 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I agree that it's a great book and it finally gives insights to the STS-1 mission, you have to read through a LOT of stuff to get there. I would say that the book, to me, didn't come even remotely interesting until it started talking about the deliveries of the orbiters and the ALT test landings. Before that, I actually found myself passing page after page of what seemed to be extraneous info...

neo1022
Member

Posts: 151
From: Santa Monica, CA
Registered: Jun 2013

posted 07-14-2016 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for neo1022   Click Here to Email neo1022     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The audio book is fantastic...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 34996
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-14-2016 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
...seemed to be extraneous info
I guess it depends on your perspective, but what you label as extraneous, I read as pivotal to understanding how the shuttle came to be and why it was as much a creature of politics as it was a product of the people who were in place at the time. In a lot of ways, the story of the shuttle is much more complex than the programs that came before it.

p51
Member

Posts: 1421
From: Olympia, WA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 07-14-2016 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, I get that, but there were times I wondered if the book originally started off with George Cayley's gilder experiments in the 19th century and the editor hacked that part off. It goes back much further than I thought was relevant at times. It felt forced, as if he was told to have a certain number of pages and fell short, so he just kept digging further back into history. It almost reminded me of the "Big Bang Theory" episode where Sheldon is trying to teach Penny about basic physics by starting with a narrative taking place in ancient Greece.

Now, all that said, about 150-175 pages into the book, it really picks up and was WELL worth slogging through the first parts.

I mention this as people with short attention spans or not really interested in setting their Wayback machine that far back might not realize it gets much better later on. There are some pretty bad reviews on Amazon for this reason and I wanted potential readers to not be swayed away from this good book by the fact it takes a long while to get to what many would consider to be "the interesting part."

pupnik
Member

Posts: 64
From: Maryland
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 07-14-2016 08:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pupnik     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have to agree that it probably does go a bit too far into the back story of the program. For instance the in depth description of the rescue of Skylab, while a very interesting part of NASA's history, isn't necessarily needed to understand where the Shuttle came from. Fortunately the prose and pace makes up for this and keeps it interesting even when covering material beyond the scope of the book, or material I already knew.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 34996
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-14-2016 10:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For me, the Skylab rescue set the stage for two stories: the role of the NRO in the STS-1 flight (and Hans Mark's contributions therein) and Fred Haise's ultimate fate as it concerned the shuttle program.

Could both be told without so much detail? Sure. But I think you miss something if you gloss over that event.

Kite
Member

Posts: 521
From: Northampton UK
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 07-15-2016 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, you have persuaded me to buy as after looking it up on Amazon, and able to look into the contents, it seems an interesting book. A good offer too as only £10 for a hardcover copy and a free postage deal over here in the UK.

I already have Rowland White's Vulcan 607 and that is a great read so I am looking forward to obtaining this one as well.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 2016 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement