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Teacher in Space: Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger Legacy
Teacher in Space: Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger Legacy
by Colin Burgess
Edition: Paperback
12 used & new from CDN$ 37.62

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving and worthy tribute to a fascinating individual..., Oct. 29 2000
This is not the first book written about Christa McAuliffe- but it may well be considered the last word on her. Many previous books have concentrated on the technical aspects of the Challenger explosion that took her life. Others were written about her as a person, but were written so close to the time of the disaster that it was hard for them to be objective and see her life and achievements in their entirety. With the passage of time, it has been possible to set the Teacher In Space Program and Christa's life in their true historical context, and Colin Burgess has here done an admirable job of doing so. The politically-inspired events that led to a teacher being offered a seat on a spacecraft formerly reserved for those with piloting or science tasks to undertake are outlined by Burgess with objectivity and clarity. But what comes through more than anything from this book is the remarkable strength of personality that McAuliffe had, making her the perfect person for a space flight, and how that strength has meant that, even after her death, her plans for space education have gone ahead. It seems that her mission to educate and inspire people to dream about spaceflight and act on those dreams was fulfilled even though she never made it into space. Burgess, having already authored an important body of spaceflight books, has added a work guaranteed to inspire and motivate anyone.

Off The Planet: Surviving Five Perilous Months Aboard The Space Station MIR
Off The Planet: Surviving Five Perilous Months Aboard The Space Station MIR
by Jerry Linenger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 19.50
55 used & new from CDN$ 0.31

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, despite Linenger's ego..., Feb. 1 2000
I read this book after reading the superior 'Dragonfly' by Bryan Burrough, and I was hoping that Burrough's stories of Jerry Linenger's monumental ego were false. Sadly, this book confirms them all- Linenger even admits it (though he says he is not the worst of the astronauts). Some of the opening chapters grate somewhat because of this, as Linenger describes just what an incredibly sucessful specimen of humanity he thinks he is. (For an example of this writing style, see the review he has posted on this page- how he says he is still amazed what a good book he has written every time he rereads it.)
Linenger's book does get really good, though, when he gets to MIR. The description of the onboard fire make the whole book worth reading- the bonechilling image Linenger gives is the best I have read, and Linenger's description of the extent and danger of the fire shows just how much it was played down elsewhere at the time. Linenger also gives a wonderful picture of the sheer hard work of life on MIR that Burrough and Colin Foale never quite get across in their books on the same theme.
So, in all, a great read. In some ways, though, I hope it sells badly. Linenger needs the wind knocked out of his sails a bit.

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