When The Heavens Went On Sale (Hardback)Ashlee Vance (author)
Following the interstellar fortunes of four private companies, the author of Elon Musk tracks the progress of the new space race run by mavericks and entrepreneurs and asks searching questions about where it could all lead.
A momentous look at the private companies driving the revolutionary new space race, from the 3-million copy, New York Times bestselling author of Elon Musk.
In 2008, Elon Musk's SpaceX became the first private company to build a low-cost rocket that could reach orbit. Suddenly Silicon Valley, not NASA, was the epicentre of the new Space Age.
Ashlee Vance follows four pioneering companies - Astra, Firefly, Planet Labs and Rocket Lab - as they race to control access to outer space. While the space tourism ambitions of billionaires such as Bezos and Branson make headlines, these under-the-radar companies are striving to monetise Earth's lower orbit; to connect, analyse and monitor everything on Earth.
With unprecedented access to private company headquarters, labs and top-secret launch locations - from the US to New Zealand, Ukraine to India - Vance presents a gripping account of private jets, communes, gun-toting bodyguards, drugs, espionage investigations and multimillionaires guzzling booze as their fortunes disappear.
This is the most pressing and controversial technology story of our time. Welcome to the new Wild West above the clouds.
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Number of pages: 528
Weight: 810 g
Dimensions: 242 x 162 x 45 mm
An exuberant ride, happily hopping around the Pacific Rim from Kwajalein Atoll to California, from New Zealand to Kodiak Island, reveling in the do-it-yourself ethos of the new space business - New York Times Book Review
The frenzied race by stargazing entrepreneurs to build a new economy in space is one of the most exciting tales of our time. Ashlee Vance, with his immersive reporting and exuberant writing, has captured the ambition and idealism of the colourful characters who are not only transforming our world but our heavens. It's the next tech frontier, and Vance turns it into a thriller - Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of STEVE JOBS
Illuminating... For an insight into the people and culture driving the new space age, Mr Vance's book is the place to start. After the wonder of the Moon landings, space somehow contrived to become boring. These days it is exciting again - Economist
Exuberant - Washington Post
[A] fantastic new book . . . I can highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in space, especially if you want to know how space startups work behind the public promises and marketing - Ars Technica
Vance has delivered that rare book that educates and entertains while opening the reader up to a brand-new universe of wonderful characters and ideas. It's non-fiction that reads like a novel - Andy Weir, author of THE MARTIAN and HAIL MARY
Through incisive reporting and colorful prose, Ashlee Vance takes us on a thrilling ride to the outer limits of human achievement - Sheelah Kolhatkar, bestselling author of BLACK EDGE
The spectacle of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and other technology scions shooting themselves into space may give you the idea that the whole experience is an ego trip, but Vance, the author of a best-selling biography of Musk, encourages readers to think bigger. He follows four companies - Astra, Firefly, Planet Labs and Rocket Lab - in this interplanetary land grab, all with the hope of making Earth's lower orbit the next site of technological innovation - 19 Works of Nonfiction to Read this Spring, New York Times
[An] exciting account... provides finely observed portraits of the figures behind the aerospace companies...offers a fresh look at the new space race, and Vance's feels-like-you're-there storytelling captures the "spectacular madness" of the moonshots. It's The Right Stuff for the silicon age - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[An] energetic account...[Vance] ably captures 'the spectacular madness of it all.' With enthusiasm and solid research, this book is an entertaining, informative look at cutting-edge technology - Kirkus
Ashlee Vance writes about a new kind of space race marked by private companies launching rockets and putting a massive number of satellites into orbit. The characters behind this new fight to dominate the skies are just as interesting as the ones [Tom] Wolfe wrote about decades ago . . . Vance's behind-the-scenes access to the companies helps explain the challenges the private space industry faces and propels the book along as he describes failed rocket launches and globe-trotting investors - Associated Press
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