Book review on rocketeers by michael belfiore

” Rocketeers” by Michael Belfiore

Space travel has been seen as an expensive adventure affair. While the government of the United states has been using millions of dollars to send explorer in space, and quite often when the mission is not complete, they are hulled with a lot of criticism and always the measure of losses are weighed against food, shelter, education, and medical assistant not directed to the less fortunate in the society.
The dream of ascending to the outer space to many is a mere dream that and too thin to be achieved. But as history has always spelt, a group of people do not get credit for such achievement but individuals who swim beyond this noises of humanity, and spur the World to the next phase of civilization. In this book, Michael Belfiore tries to give identity to certain individuals who are trying to rise above the common mind set and standards. To him, these individual are in the position to give the world another experience to the outside world beyond the earth atmosphere.
Recently, SpaceShipOne, won an award by privately funding a craft, which had an ability to rise above 328, 000 feet above the earth surface. According to Belfiore, he sees this as the seed to a major adventure to humankind. He write about how individuals are able to rise above the norm of government realm of provisions and set their abilities and skills to achieve their goals and dreams. Some miraculously end up achieving it, beating all odds aligned with their challenges. These individuals are driven with passion, and vision. The author claims that these individuals have greater expectation and therefore achieve their expectation focusing on the end price and thus being the cornerstone of the world’s new vibrant industry.
In this book, Belfiore has painted himself as an amazingly vibrant individual. Who is into space travel, while he draws some fears and the readers can feel it. He makes sure that the readers of the book have a feeling of happiness after the undertaking a project of building a rocket.
He start narrating from simple plane as Cessna 172, quarter century old, with simple mechanical indicator and a push and pull throttle “ jutting from the instrument panel(Belfiore 2007, pg. 14). Then followed with other outstanding designs from Feeney who was consumed with the idea of building a space ship when he saw the advert in a local magazine. He sketched ideas on how he can come up with spaceship. Therefore Feeney came up with idea of building up a homemade spaceship. At the same moment Jim Akkerman was working on a suborbital spaceship of his own.
Home built space ship was also Burt Rutan’s big idea. Having received his inspiration from his early life of building model airplane, he went to California polytechnic in 1965 where he pursued aeronautical engineering. At that period Dick, Rutan’s brother had joined Air force and flew combat missions in what was called Vietnam War. Rutan supported war at home by giving flight test to F-4 phantom.
Rutan then made a bomber like space ship that served the purpose of carrying rocket powered airplane to higher altitude this what was referred to spaceship one (Belfiore 2007, p. 81). He narrates about the first Gemini and Apolo spaceship that was made in 1960 that made the first landing to the moon.
Virgin Galactic president came up with a new venture to make space ship a recreational center. Then came the advent of Falcon a nine time speed than SpaceShipOne. Another one for recreational purposes.
Since the advent of this book, NASA has made attempts to outsource of its projects to private farms and contractors. This has culminated the congressmen to try to burn the use of private space flight terming it as dangerous. Even in this times, New Mexico is pouring millions of dollars to build a spaceport near the countries dusty town of Truth or Consequence. At the same time NASA is left with no option but to spare some more millions of Dollars to sponsor private sector through series of prizes.
For the first time the Rutan had a backing of Branson and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. The ambitious men had proven they can beyond the atmosphere. Virgin Galactic looked poised to close a project that will usher a fleet of SpaceShipTwos that was to be the first to regularly ferry passengers into space. This was to be done by 2009.
Belfiore give us the glimpse to the future. In 2034, he predicts hypersonic travel that will propelled business to forge travel shipment that will enable flying from Los Angeles to Dubai in few hours, while the energy sector will be revolutionized to solve energy crisis by use of fleet of power satellites deployed from private space shuttles.
He prophesies about spaceport being just like empty land connected with high speed links from the earth located from few miles ahead. The spaceport will be like ordinary airport where the space ship are require to land. Situated in an open space in the middle of nowhere spaceports will be economic salvation to the countries that they are situated.
Las Vegas hotelier has not been left but he is in the process of developing the World’s first space hotel. The hotel has thousands of rooms. The chain is arrayed with eye popping displays. They are affordable on weekly and monthly rates. The rooms is fully furnished with kitchenettes and laundry room. They ground floor of these room is a display of “ toys and other knickknacks” (Belfiore 2007, 197). Looking at the setting of these rooms people not only visit this place but also live there.
Throughout the text the author writing is lucid and energetic. This captivates the reader of this book to have an interest on aerodynamics because he uses space related and even technical terms worth a discussion.


Belfiore, Michael P. Rocketeers. New York: Smithsonian Books, 2007.
Harpercollins. com. ” Browse Inside Rocketeers: How a Visionary Band of Business Leaders, Engineers, and Pilots is Boldly Privatizing Space by Michael Belfiore.” 2013. http://www. harpercollins. com/browseinside/index. aspx? isbn13= 9780061149030 (accessed 19 Nov 2013).
Universe Today. ” Book Review: Rocketeers.” 2013. http://www. universetoday. com/12299/book-review-rocketeers/ (accessed 19 Nov 2013)