Item description for Inside the Space Race: A Space Surgeon's Diary by Lawrence Lamb...
Inside the Space Race is a well documented personal account of one of the most important periods in American history. Dr. Lamb gives the reader an inside look at the events, personalities and clashes among the individuals who led and developed the program that enabled the United States to beat the Soviets and send astronauts to the moon.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 21.9" Width: 15.3" Height: 1.1" Weight: 1.6 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2006
Publisher Synergy Books
ISBN 1933538392 ISBN13 9781933538396
Reviews - What do customers think about Inside the Space Race: A Space Surgeon's Diary?
Recommended for readers of all ages Apr 15, 2007
This book looks at the early days of the American space program from the point of view of a key scientist, someone who had a voice in deciding who would, or would not, be traveling into space.
In the early 1950s, there was much concern, even paranoia, about Soviet military capabilities. The concern got even worse when Sputnik was launched in 1957. Lamb was an Air Force cardiologist who was given the task of developing the cardiology portion of the physical exam used on participants in the Man in Space program. Starting from scratch (a couple of abandoned buildings at Brooks AFB in Texas), Lamb and his group knew that they had to be as sure as possible about a pilot's physical condition. Lamb did not have the final word as to who would be going into space, but his recommendation carried a lot of weight.
When he recommended that Donald "Deke" Slayton, one of the original Mercury astronauts, not be cleared for spaceflight, many important people were not happy. Attempts were made to find cardiologists who would publicly state that Slayton's heart arrythmia should not ground him. Other attempts were made to take the whole cardiology program away from Lamb and his group, and put it under the direct control of NASA or the Pentagon. Lamb strongly objected when he discovered that Slayton was to be the backup astronaut for John Glenn's orbital flight (which almost never happened and which almost ended in disaster), and when Slayton was to be the astronaut for the second orbital flight.
When the emphasis turned to longer flights, Lamb talks about the experiments that were devised to measure the effects of prolonged weightlessness on the human body. Data from Russian flights showed that the human body simply could not take any more than several days of weightlessness. Until methods were found to ease the effects on the body, going to the moon (or anywhere else, for that matter) was not a sure thing.
This is a very interesting inside look at a famous part of American history. It is first-rate, and is recommended for readers of all ages.
A Learning Experience! Oct 14, 2006
Our author, Dr. Lawrence E. Lamb is certainly one who has all the qualifications to write a book on this subject and leave you assured the information is correct and informative. A former national syndicated columnist, Dr.Lamb was a key scientist for our nation's man-in-space program and he also developed the medical examinations used to select the astronauts and others going to the moon. Quite a responsibility and one well done. As with all threads of history, there are always interesting behind the scene stories in given situations and this one is gripping as we learn how our government dealt with the Soviets' surprise launching of Sputnik and the following years of the space race. You will read of President Kennedy and the role he played however what I found most interesting was the 'up to the plate and hitting a home run' attitude and perseverance that Lyndon Johnson had in this entire race. I never realized the important role he played and I enjoyed the human side portrayed of him. Inside the Space Race is an up-front look into a pinnacle time of history in our country, its people and events written in an informative, captivating way. As you close the cover you will realize you have gained a far greater understanding of the importance the space race is to our national security and you will be thankful for the strides forward we are continuing to make. You will appreciate the key players, the roles they took and the sacrifices they made. A very well written, informative read awaits you in this work by Dr. Lamb. Recommended.