Off the Planet: Surviving Five Perilous Months Aboard the Space Station Mir

The word "Surviving" should probably be underlined in the title of this first-hand account by an American astro/cosmonaut of his experiences aboard Mir. There is precious little science in this book, but a great deal about living at the mercy of technology and Russian bureaucracy. Even though the reader knows that the author does ultimately survive, there is nevertheless suspense that builds up during Jerry Linenger's telling of his story. One cannot help but wonder at the sanity (or the naivety) of the several Americans who succeeded him on Mir. His description of the adaptation to life with gravity should give considerable pause to those anxious to send people to Mars. See Hal's Picks of February, 2000.

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