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Download How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight Audiobook, by Julian Guthrie Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Julian Guthrie Narrator: Rob Shapiro Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2016 ISBN: 9780735288225
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How a historic race gave birth to private space flight

Alone in a Spartan black cockpit, test pilot Mike Melvill rocketed toward space. He had eighty seconds to exceed the speed of sound and begin the climb to a target no civilian pilot had ever reached. He might not make it back alive. If he did, he would make history as the world’s first commercial astronaut.

The spectacle defied reason, the result of a competition dreamed up by entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, whose vision for a new race to space required small teams to do what only the world’s largest governments had done before.

Peter Diamandis was the son of hardworking immigrants who wanted their science prodigy to make the family proud and become a doctor. But from the age of eight, when he watched Apollo 11 land on the Moon, his singular goal was to get to space. When he realized NASA was winding down manned space flight, Diamandis set out on one of the great entrepreneurial adventure stories of our time. If the government wouldn’t send him to space, he would create a private space flight industry himself.

In the 1990s, this idea was the stuff of science fiction. Undaunted, Diamandis found inspiration in an unlikely place: the golden age of aviation. He discovered that Charles Lindbergh made his transatlantic flight to win a $25,000 prize. The flight made Lindbergh the most famous man on earth and galvanized the airline industry. Why, Diamandis thought, couldn’t the same be done for space flight?

The story of the bullet-shaped SpaceShipOne, and the other teams in the hunt, is an extraordinary tale of making the impossible possible. It is driven by outsized characters—Burt Rutan, Richard Branson, John Carmack, Paul Allen—and obsessive pursuits. In the end, as Diamandis dreamed, the result wasn’t just a victory for one team; it was the foundation for a new industry. Today, SpaceShipOne hangs in the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, flanked by the Apollo 11 capsule and Lindbergh’s The Spirit of St. Louis.

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About the Author

Julian Guthrie is a veteran journalist and has won numerous awards, including the Best of the West Award and Society of Professional Journalists’ Public Service Award. She spent twenty years at the San Francisco Chronicle and has also been published by the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, and others. She is the author of several books, including the bestselling The Billionaire and the Mechanic, selected by Forbes as a top-ten nonfiction book of 2014.

About the Narrator

Rob Shapiro is an actor and Earphones Award–winning narrator. He performed several seasons of radio comedy on Minneapolis Public Radio and voiced the titular lion in Leo the Lion. He is a musician and composer with his critically acclaimed band Populuxe. He is also a business consultant and software system designer.