Star-Crossed Orbits: Inside The U.S.-Russian Space Alliance
By Oberg, James

An insider's view into the U.S.-Russian space program

With great fanfare, the 36-year game of one-upsmanship known as the Space Race officially ended in 1993, and in its place the U.S.-Russian space alliance was born. But beneath all the official rhetoric of a bold new era of space exploration, the "marriage made in the heavens" has been plagued from the start by misunderstandings, suspicion, high-level chicanery, and outright official lies that threaten to drag down the alliance and the space programs of several other nations.

In Star-Crossed Orbits, space veteran and bestselling author James Oberg combines riveting personal memoir with top-notch investigative journalism to tell the complete untold story of the U.S.-Russian space alliance. With unparalleled access to official Russian archives, facilities, and key individuals associated with the Russian space program, he describes the strengths and weaknesses that each side of the alliance brings to the table. And he reveals for the first time the full story of Russia's decaying space program and how it ultimately was saved from collapse by Western funds.

Praise for Star Crossed Orbits:

"A unique background and base of experience underlies this remarkable book by Jim Oberg. It is must reading for anyone who wishes to understand the culture with which one must deal when attempting to cooperate with Russia or counter its initiatives, whether peaceful or otherwise. Times change with the clock. Cultures change much more slowly if at all." ­­Dr. H.H. 'Jack' Schmitt, Apollo moon walker, US Senator

"Jim Oberg's new book is an absolute 'must read' for those who have followed the first decades of the human exploration of space. He reveals all sorts of insider information on all sides of the relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, later Russia, as they attempted to forge a successful partnership in space. Of particular interest to the reader is his clear-eyed, cold-blooded look at the real costs and benefits of this joint endeavor. Don't miss this one!"­­Admiral Richard Truly, Space Shuttle Astronaut and former NASA Administrator

"[Star-Crossed Orbits] is a great piece of investigative journalism. [Its] detailed, comprehensive and well documented description of the political environment that shaped the International Space Station is a service to NASA and the nation. [Oberg's] background as writer, historian, Russian space expert and former member of the Mission Operations team assures the depth and credibility needed for this work.

The events [he] describes in [his] book are as real today as they were almost a decade ago when a small band of NASA engineers and astronauts challenged the politically driven redesign of the 'Freedom' station. At that time we knew little of the forces arrayed against us as the Administrator's redesign team incorporated Russia as an in-line element of the space system and operations, violating three decades of American manned spaceflight experience. It is unfortunate that those responsible for the US-Russia agreements and the resultant problems in the program baseline are no longer available to be held accountable for their work. [This] book is a must read for program managers, engineers and scientists engaged in present and future projects with Russia."­­Gene Kranz, Apollo Flight Director, author of 'Failure is Not An Option'

"Finally, someone is telling it like it is about the Russian manned space program­­the good, the bad and the ugly. The Russians pulled the wool over our eyes for decades. It continues even today, only now America is paying for it. I have relied on Jim for years because no one knows it or tells it like he does."­­Walter Cunningham, Apollo VII Astronaut (first manned Apollo mission)

"In this reasoned indictment, James Oberg reveals the self delusional and cynically deceptive deals in which the US allowed Russia to be a controlling partner in constructing the International Space station. He details the terrible cost in time, national treasure and integrity that this caused­­and how, despite these self-inflicted barriers, America's much-maligned space workers successfully built it anyway."­­Frederick C. Durant III, Former Assistant Director, National Air and Space Museum



DOI: 10.1036/0071374256

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Author Biography

James Oberg was a space engineer for 22 years in NASA's mission control in Houston. He has been the space consultant for ABC News, United Press International, and several foreign networks. Oberg is widely recognized as a world authority on the Russian space program, and he has been invited on several occasions to testify before Congress on the problems facing the Russian space industry. He is the author of 10 books, including the classic, Red Star in Orbit, and about a thousand magazine and newspaper articles on all aspects of space flight.


Star-Crossed Orbits: Inside The U.S.-Russian Space Alliance
Author(s): Oberg, James
ISBN: 0071374256
DOI: 10.1036/0071374256

Format: hardcover, 352 pages.
Pub date: 17 Oct 2001
Copyright: 2002
$27.95 US
Product Line: McGraw-Hill

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