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Book Reviews

Epic Rivalry - The inside story of the Soviet and American Space Race
Authors: Von Hardesty and Gene Eisman

Publisher: National Geographic

ISBN: 978-1-4262-01119-6

Price: £9.99 (Hb), 276pp

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Dr Sergei Krushchev, son of former Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev, reveals in a long foreword that the launch of Sputnik 1, the world's first satellite, would have been taken for granted in the Soviet Union had it not created such sensational alarm
in the United States. Only then did the Soviet Government realise the enormous prestige value of the achievement. Sergei,
who now lives in the US and is a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies,
became a distinguished rocket engineer and, thanks to his father's patronage, worked for Vladimir Chelomei, a rival of
Sergei Korolev in designing rockets and spacecraft.

Sergei describes vividly how Korolev, having won Nikita's favour following his successful launches of the early cosmonauts, would brook no rivals in planning to send men to the Moon. Not only did he get rid of Chelomei, but he
also despatched the team of German rocket engineers collected by the Soviets at the end of the war to a remote island and ignored the designs they sent to him. The result was that Korolev was far behind when America's Apollo 11 landed the first men and, says Sergei, "Korolev had lost the competition even before it started."

Von Hardesty is curator of Washington's Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and he and his co-author Gene Eisman - a historian specialising in Russian affairs - have quarried newly
released documents and pictures to produce yet another very readable study of the race to land men on the Moon.

Reginald Turnill

2009 Yearbook
This 132-page special edition features the ultimate observing guide for 2009, a review of all the biggest news stories of 2008, in depth articles covering all aspects of astronomy and space missions for 2009, previews of International Year of Astronomy events and much, much more.

Infinity Rising
This special publication features the photography of British astro-imager Nik Szymanek and covers a range of photographic methods from basic to advanced. Beautiful pictures of the night sky can be obtained with a simple camera and tripod before tackling more difficult projects, such as guided astrophotography through the telescope and CCD imaging.

Exploring Mars
Astronomy Now is pleased to announce the publication of Exploring Mars. The very best images of Mars taken by orbiting spacecraft and NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers fill up the 98 glossy pages of this special edition!

Mars rover poster
This new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA's amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.