Beyond by Stephen Walker audiobook

Beyond: The Astonishing Story of the First Human to Leave Our Planet and Journey into Space

By Stephen Walker
Read by David Rintoul

HarperCollins, HarperAudio 9780062978158
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A fresh and exciting take on an epic flight into space, the triumph of technology, and the Cold War battle in which the Soviets pre-empted the first American space mission by three weeks—a history with uncanny echoes of contemporary Russian resurgence at the expense of the U.S. On April 12, 1961, twenty-seven-year old Yuri Gagarin, a Russian ex-foundry worker and loyal member of the Communist Party, climbed inside a tiny spherical capsule sitting on top of the Soviet Union’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile—originally designed to carry nuclear warheads—and blasted into space, becoming the first human to leave Earth. For more than a year he and nineteen other cosmonauts had trained in secret for this pioneering mission.  Traveling at over 17,000 mph—ten times faster than the speed a rifle bullet travels—it took Gagarin 106 minutes to orbit the globe. While the launch began in total secrecy, within hours of its successful completion it made headlines worldwide and transformed the unknown Gagarin into the most famous man on Earth. On the 60th anniversary of that flight, Beyond tells the story of this epic moment in history. In the darkest days of the Cold War, the race between the superpowers to put the first human in space was momentous. While the Soviets space program was shrouded in secrecy, the Americans were openly training their astronauts, the Mercury Seven. Colossal risks were taken on both sides. The race to be first came down to a knife edge—in the end, a matter of just days separated the launches. Drawing on original documentary research and eyewitnesses, many of whom have never spoken before, Beyond reconstructs the gripping tale of Gagarin’s flight, how it changed the world—and how one man first looked down on the beauty and fragility of our planet by riding a missile specifically designed to destroy it.

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Summary

Summary

A fresh and exciting take on an epic flight into space, the triumph of technology, and the Cold War battle in which the Soviets pre-empted the first American space mission by three weeks—a history with uncanny echoes of contemporary Russian resurgence at the expense of the U.S.

On April 12, 1961, twenty-seven-year old Yuri Gagarin, a Russian ex-foundry worker and loyal member of the Communist Party, climbed inside a tiny spherical capsule sitting on top of the Soviet Union’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile—originally designed to carry nuclear warheads—and blasted into space, becoming the first human to leave Earth. For more than a year he and nineteen other cosmonauts had trained in secret for this pioneering mission. 

Traveling at over 17,000 mph—ten times faster than the speed a rifle bullet travels—it took Gagarin 106 minutes to orbit the globe. While the launch began in total secrecy, within hours of its successful completion it made headlines worldwide and transformed the unknown Gagarin into the most famous man on Earth.

On the 60th anniversary of that flight, Beyond tells the story of this epic moment in history. In the darkest days of the Cold War, the race between the superpowers to put the first human in space was momentous. While the Soviets space program was shrouded in secrecy, the Americans were openly training their astronauts, the Mercury Seven. Colossal risks were taken on both sides. The race to be first came down to a knife edge—in the end, a matter of just days separated the launches.

Drawing on original documentary research and eyewitnesses, many of whom have never spoken before, Beyond reconstructs the gripping tale of Gagarin’s flight, how it changed the world—and how one man first looked down on the beauty and fragility of our planet by riding a missile specifically designed to destroy it.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A vivid account of the Cold War-era space race…This dramatic…entertaining and carefully researched history achieves liftoff.” Publishers Weekly
“Dramatic and dynamic. Stephen Walker’s passion for his subject along with his exceptional research and attention to detail have brought my father’s extraordinary journey vividly to life.” Elena Gagarina, daughter of Yuri Gagarin, the world’s first spaceman
“Beyond has the exhilaration of a fine thriller, but it is vividly embedded in the historic tensions of the Cold War and peopled by men and women brought sympathetically, and sometimes tragically, to life.” Colin Thubron, author of Shadow of the Silk Road

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Stephen Walker

Author Bio: Stephen Walker

Stephen Walker is the author of five nonfiction books, including four books on mediation. He is an independent mediator, a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a visiting lecturer in mediation at Kings College London and Oxford Brookes University.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography
Audience: Adult
Language: English