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This remarkable book offers a unique insight into the people involved in the development of the Salyut space station and the crews assigned to operate it. It describes the rotation between the crews, analyses the decision to send the back-up crew on Soyuz 11 and recounts the intrigues and difficult relationships between all the personalities involved - politicians, CKBEM managers, designers, generals and cosmonauts.
Biographies of the Soyuz 11 cosmonauts are published for the first time in English and the longest manned space mission of the time is described before Grujica Ivanovich gives a unique summary of the most tragic day in the Soviet/Russian manned space program. An investigation into the cause of the tragic deaths of the Soyuz 11 cosmonauts precedes a description of the post-Salyut era, showing how the legacy of the first space station has survived for decades.
From Almaz to Salyut.- DOS-1 Crews.- Salyut in Space.- Drama of the Granites.- Mutiny at the Cosmodrome.- Dobrovolskiy, Volkov and Patsayev.- Home in Orbit.- Science and Conflicts.- The Fire.- Drawing Away from the Station.- Cosmonauts Dead on Landing.- Farewell.- Thirteen Seconds to Eternity.- The Fall of the Chief Designer.- Memories.- Glossary.- Personnel.- Bibliography.- Index.
From the reviews:
"This work chronicles the history of the first space station, Salyut 1, which was built by the former Soviet Union and launched unmanned in April 1971. a ] The author also discusses the interactions between the space agency and the Kremlin in Moscow as well as other interpersonal rivalries. The book includes many excellent half-tone photographs, biographies of the cosmonauts, and a glossary. Summing Up: Recommended. Public, general, and undergraduate libraries, all levels." (J. Z. Kiss, Choice, Vol. 46 (5), January, 2009)