Lost in Space
Rand reviews Greg Klerkx’ new book, Lost in Space: The Fall of NASA and the Dream of a New Space Age.
It was definitely worth reading for a recap of recent space history, but overall I agree with Rand’s agreement with Jeff Foust:
Overall, I agree with Jeff’s assessment of the book. It’s an interesting read, and will provide a lot of background in terms of NASA versus the private sector, but as Jeff says, it’s a little schizophrenic, in that he can’t quite decide whether the agency is an evil monolith, or a bunch of warring fiefdoms. Ultimately, while descriptive, it’s not very prescriptive, or well organized. It’s more a compendium of interesting stories than a coherent narrative, and it seems to peter out at the end, with no clear conclusion.
I came away with the sense that Klerkx had an axe to grind…which is not a bad thing, given the Drudge-like dirt-dishing theme of the book, but he just didn’t seem to take it far enough to make the book a powerful critique of NASA. On the other hand, it’s much better than the institutional hagiographies one typically finds on the subject — Klerkx clearly hasn’t eaten the NASA pudding.