The daring, revolutionary NASA that sent Neil Armstrong to the moon has lost its meteoric vision, says journalist and space enthusiast Greg Klerkx. NASA, he contends, has devolved from a pioneer of space exploration into a factionalized bureaucracy focused primarily on its own survival. And as a result, humans haven’t ventured beyond Earth’s orbit for three decades.
Klerkx argues that after its wildly successful Apollo program, NASA clung fiercely to the spotlight by creating a government-sheltered monopoly with a few big aerospace companies. Although committed in theory to supporting commercial spaceflight, in practice it smothered vital private-sector innovation. In striking descriptions of space milestones spanning the golden 1960s Space Age and the 2003 Columbia tragedy, Klerkx exposes the “real” NASA and envisions exciting public-private cooperation that could send humans back to the moon and beyond.
“A penetrating indictment . . . an absorbing jeremiad for those who . . . look beyond the PR shots of jubilant Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists.” —Newsweek
“A battle cry for the alternative space program—an engaging counterpoint to the can-do rhetoric headed our way via . . . NASA officials.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“A clear-eyed analysis . . .with vivid examples.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Thoughtful and . . . informational. . . . It is clear that [Klerkx] has done a great deal of research and knows. . . a lot about efforts at space travel and exploration as well as its finance and politics.” —Los Angeles Times
“Compelling. . . . Essential reading.” —Buzz Aldrin
“Readable and smart. . . . A summary of all the things that happened while the rest of us weren’t paying attention. . . . . [Bush said] America should return to the moon. . . . After reading this history of America’s space agency, one might be inclined to take NASA off the job.” —Charleston Post & Courier
“Informative, passionate. . . . Klerkx excoriates NASA relentlessly, effectively.” —The Guardian
“An important book that provides a context for understanding the decline of NASA and the rise of the alternative space community.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Fascinating. . . . Raises points that should be included in any debate on the issue.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“A very sound and readable analysis of the cause and cure of the present malaise in this planet's space programme. . . . Klerkx backs up his analysis with compelling evidence and insight.” —The Times Literary Supplement (London)
“A must-read for space enthusiasts who may be interested in being part of the future revolution in affordable space access. Greg Klerkx has gathered a wealth of historical information, old and recent, and presents it in a readable story that is hard to put down.” —Burt Rutan, aircraft and spacecraft developer
“Convincing. . . . [An] eleg[y] to human space travel.” —The New York Sun
“A clear, informed and poignant analysis of how the space agency lost its way. . . . Klerkx's report could not be more timely.” —Keay Davidson, author of Carl Sagan: A Life
“Lost in Space is a must-read. . . . Klerkx presents a masterful argument on why the space program is in a deep rut and what needs to happen to get out of it. . . . He offers a healthy outside perspective when it is sorely needed.” —Dayton Beach News Journal
“This lively, well-reported, and unapologetic work will give new hope to anyone who's clung to the dream of human spaceflight during the three long decades since the last Apollo mission.” —Thomas Mallon, author of Aurora 7 and Two Moons
“Passionate. . . . Provocative. . . . Important.” —Sci Fi
“Those working on changing NASA need to review this book if they want to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.” —The Huntsville Times
“Excellent. . . . You can't sit on the fence after reading this book. . . . If you want to know where NASA has gone wrong or of the many ideas that people have been and are expounding for space access, Lost in Space is the book.” —Universe Today
“Klerkx documents how [NASA] stamped on every form of external competition. . . . One reads with the certain conviction that this had to be said.” —New Statesman
“Well-researched. . . . Klerkx provides ample evidence and maddening examples of NASA’s ‘fractitious bureaucracy.’” —East Bay Express
“Fascinating. . . . Klerkx backs up [his] argument with extensive research. . . . A very interesting book.” —The Space Review
Greg Klerkx is a former senior manager of the SETI Institute, an independent space exploration and research institution based in California's Silicon Valley. Trained as a journalist, he won numerous news-writing awards and now divides his time between London and San Francisco. Lost in Space is his first book.