Excellent history about how the Space Transportation System Shuttle was created as a follow up to the Apollo Program This isn t a technical history but White provides plenty of pertinent details on the challenges faced in building a reusable shuttle under tight budget constraints White also digs deeper into the connection between the Air Force and the Shuttle Program in the area of design and with the astronauts who migrated from the canceled Manned Orbiting Laboratory over to NASA These men helped design, test and fly the shuttle through its early years White also provides some insight on the political side detailing the thought process and support from the Nixon and Carter Administrations White writes this fascinating history in such a manner that makes it feel like a Cold War novel than a dry technical story about machines I started reading it and was so caught up in White s engaging narrative that I stayed up until 4 in the morning to finish it This is the way history should be written for the general audience White nailed the facts while making this a story about the amazingly talented and driven people who made the Shuttle a reality. If you want a look at the black world and connection to the shuttle program, then you need to read into the black Lots of wonderful information here Will make you proud of NASA, air force and the not Real good look at what it took to make projects work Lot of great people in the service of the it country Once you start book, you have to finish it before putting it down Mr white did a great job on this book Thanks Today the cliche belief is that the Space Shuttle was a turkey and people question how we could have gone down such a deadend path If you really care to know the truth, this book will give you the true history of the politics, the engineering decisions and why they were made, and the men who gave their lives and heart to the program I also read the NASA publication The Space Shuttle Decision and this is much human and readable Also Nixon s motivations were clearly explained and in my view he goes from being the villain to being the president who saved the manned space component of our space program I now understand the backstory behind the cancellation of Dyna Soar and Manned Orbiting Laboratory, as well as why the Russians tried to follow us even though they knew our public rationale for the Shuttle was ludicrous Great read Meticulously researched history After this, you should check out the NASA book Shuttle Retrospective It gives the outline of each flight If you read enough of it, you will realise what a truly amazing technological achievement the Shuttle was Designed and built within 7 years If only we had built a successor I think Elon Musk s Starship will be the fruition of the quest to build the ultimate shuttle This book is definitely worth your time and money if you care about the space program. Excellent If you love flying, or space subjects, or the Shuttle, or the last quarter of the 20th century, you ll enjoy Into The Black Written with authority by a man who love flying, the book details and it is detailed the intricacies of building Earth s first reusable spacecraft system, a historical journey off planet which heralded the arrival of the Space Age as a viable, doable concept Even if you followed the newspapers and TV coverage of the entire Shuttle era, you never knew much of what really went on behind the scenes of one of civilization s crowning achievements This book is a wonderful read and an exciting reveal of the Shuttle and it s political backdrop, much of which remained under wraps until now. On 12th April 1981 a revolutionary new spacecraft blasted off from Florida on her maiden flight NASA s Space Shuttle Columbia was the most advanced flying machine ever built the high watermark of post war aviation development A direct descendant of the record breaking X planes the likes of which Chuck Yeager had tested in the skies over the Mojave Desert, Columbia was a winged rocket plane, the size of an airliner, capable of flying to space and back before being made ready to fly again She was the world s first real spaceship.On board were men with the Right Stuff The Shuttle s Commander, moonwalker John Young, was already a veteran of five spaceflights Alongside him, Pilot Bob Crippen was making his first, but Crip, taken in by the space agency after the cancellation of a top secret military space station programme in 1969, had worked on the Shuttle s development for a decade Never before had a crew been so well prepared for their mission.Yet less than an hour after Young and Crippen s spectacular departure from the Cape it was clear that all was not well Tiles designed to protect Columbia from the blowtorch burn of re entry were missing from the heatshield If the damage to their ship was too great the astronauts would be unable to return safely to earth But neither they nor mission control possessed any way of knowing Instead, NASA turned to the National Reconnaissance Office, a spy agency hidden deep inside the Pentagon whose very existence was classified To help, the NRO would attempt something that had never been done before Success would require skill, pinpoint timing and luck Drawing on brand new interviews with astronauts and engineers, archive material and newly declassified documents, Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 607, has pieced together the dramatic untold story of the mission for the first time Into the Black is a thrilling race against time a gripping high stakes cold war story, and a celebration of a beyond the state of the art machine that, hailed as one of the seven new wonders of the world, rekindled our passion for spaceflight With a foreword by Astronaut Richard Truly Beautifully researched and written, Into the Black tells the true, complete story of the Space Shuttle better than it s ever been told before Colonel Chris Hadfield, former Astronaut and Space Station Commander Brilliantly revealed, Into the Black is the finely tuned true story of the first flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia Rowland White has magnificently laid bare the unknown dangers and unseen hazards of that first mission Once read, not forgotten Clive Cussler