This insider's account, a penetrating view of science policy and politics during two presidencies, captures the euphoria that characterized the space program in the late seventies and early eighties and furnishes an invaluable perspective on the Challenger tragedy and the future of the United States in space. President Reagan's approval of $8 billion for the construction of a permanently manned orbiting space station climaxed one of the most important political and technological debates in the history of the U.S. program in space.
In The Space Station the story of this debate is told by Hans mark, who had major roles in the development of the space shuttle from its beginnings in the sixties and who bore a primary responsibility for overseeing the space station project during the decisive years from 1981 to 1984. Mark's appointment to the post of deputy administrator of NASA capped a career devoted to the development and management of space technology—he served as director of NASA's Ames Research Center, then as under secretary and later secretary of the U.S. Air Force. Serving under both President Carter and President Reagan, mark is uniquely able to chronicle the intricate process by which the space shuttle became a reality and the space station an acknowledged goal of the American space effort.
A scientist by training, Mark's account of his career in the space program is the story of a personal dream as well as the story of a vast public enterprise whose human side is only now being fully appreciated.