Beyond: The Astonishing Story of the First Human to Leave Our Planet and Journey into Space (Hardback)Stephen Walker (author)
Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the first manned space flight, Beyond chronicles the legendary astronaut Yuri Gagarin's historic journey as the first human to leave the planet in the Vostok 1 spacecraft with the pace and exhilaration of a thriller.
9.07 a.m., April 12, 1961. A top-secret rocket site in the USSR. A young Russian sits inside a tiny capsule on top of the Soviet Union's most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile - originally designed to carry a nuclear warhead - and blasts into the skis. His name is Yuri Gagarin and he is about to make history.
Travelling at almost 18,000 miles per hour - ten times faster than a rifle bullet - Gagarin circles the globe in just 106 minutes. While his launch begins in total secrecy, within hours of his landing he has become a world celebrity - the first human to leave the planet.
Beyond tells the thrilling story behind that epic flight on its sixtieth anniversary. It happened at the height of the Cold War as the US and USSR confronted each other across an Iron Curtain. Both superpowers took enormous risks to get a man into space first - the Americans in the full glare of the media, the Soviets under deep cover. Both trained their teams of astronauts to the edges of the endurable. In the end the race between them would come down to the wire.
Drawing on extensive original research and the vivid testimonies of eyewitnesses, many of whom have never spoken before, Stephen Walker unpacks secrets that were hidden for decades and takes the reader into the drama - featuring the scientists, engineers and political leaders on both sides, and above all the American astronauts and their Soviet rivals battling for supremacy in the heavens.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 512
Weight: 790 g
Dimensions: 240 x 159 x 46 mm
‘This book is a triumph’Dan Snow ‘Just a wonderful book, I can’t recommend it enough’Giles Coren ‘The thrilling story … is not the first study of Gagarin and the Vostok missions, still less of Nasa’s “Mercury Seven” astronauts — but bringing the two stories together is a masterstroke … It is high-definition history: tight, thrilling and beautifully researched’Sunday Times ‘Many intriguing revelations [and an] extensive, blow-by-blow account of the race to put a human in space … Tells the full story of the finest two hours of [Gagarin's] tragically short life’Literary Review ‘Thrilling … brings a huge amount that is fresh and new to our understanding of the Space Race’Daily Telegraph ‘Cinematic … Walker develops a colourful sense of the political theatre of space exploration’Spectator ‘Scintillating …The thrilling ride to be the first man in space is vividly captured in this retelling of Russia’s favourite son’Financial Times ‘Stephen Walker has amassed a wealth of detail on this fascinating time … A reminder of the fragility of history and a testament to the brilliance of a terrorised people’New Statesman ‘Brings to life the space race and the extraordinary story of Yuri Gagarin … A history that reads like a thriller’Anne Applebaum ‘The very best account of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering space mission – vivid, thoughtful, and respectful … A wonderfully rendered story of an epochal event’Asif Siddiqi ‘Suddenly, every previous biography of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and his epic Earth-orbiting flight has been superseded … A spellbinding and completely authoritative account … The finest, best researched book ever written on the subject’Colin Burgess ‘Dramatic and dynamic. Stephen Walker’s passion for his subject along with his exceptional research and attention to detail have brought my father’s extraordinary journey vividly to life’Elena Gagarina
You may also be interested in...
Totally engaging from start to finish. A great balance of the technology, politics and personal issues of the time. Clearly well researched as it brings all aspects of the Space Race to the reader in a flowing and... More
“Captivating, exciting and detailed but never dry”
The book is written in a way that compares and contrasts the Russian and American race to get the first man in space. The background of politics and differing national approaches is illuminating. Having lived through... More
“Excellently researched and written. An epic quest vividly told.”
This book is excellent. The amount of detailed research that has taken place to tell the secret story of the Russian side of the space race is amazing. The writing style is also amazing in that you want to find out... More
Please sign in to write a review
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?