- 26,99 €
An Instant New York Times Bestseller
A momentous look at the private companies building a revolutionary new economy in space, from the New York Times bestselling author of Elon Musk
In When the Heavens Went on Sale, Ashlee Vance illuminates our future and unveils the next big technology story of our time: welcome to the Wild West of aerospace engineering and its unprecedented impact on our lives.
With the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 1 rocket in 2008, Silicon Valley began to realize that the universe itself was open for business. Now, Vance tells the remarkable, unfolding story of this frenzied intergalactic land grab by following four pioneering companies—Astra, Firefly, Planet Labs, and Rocket Lab—as they build new space systems and attempt to launch rockets and satellites into orbit by the thousands.
With the public fixated on the space tourism being driven by the likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson, these new, scrappy companies arrived with a different set of goals: to make rocket and satellite launches fast and cheap, thereby opening Earth’s lower orbit for business. Vance has had a front-row seat and singular access to this peculiar and unprecedented moment in history, and he chronicles it all in full color: the top-secret launch locations, communes, gun-toting bodyguards, drugs, espionage investigations, and multimillionaires guzzling booze to dull the pain as their fortunes disappear.
Through immersive and intimate reporting, When the Heavens Went on Sale reveals the spectacular chaos of the new business of space, and what happens when the idealistic, ambitious minds of Silicon Valley turn their unbridled vision toward the limitless expanse of the stars. This is the tale of technology’s most pressing and controversial revolution, as told through fascinating characters chasing unimaginable stakes in the race to space.
In this exciting account, Vance (Elon Musk), a journalist at Bloomberg Businessweek, shines light on some of the lesser known private sector efforts to capitalize on outer space, telling how aerospace companies Astra, Firefly, Planet Labs, and Rocket Lab have used scrappiness and innovation in their quest to turn a profit from rockets and satellites. Vance details engineers' sometimes harebrained schemes and recounts how Planet Labs cofounders Will Marshall and Chris Boshuizen got their start in 2009 at NASA by tucking a smartphone into a rocket to see if it could take pictures from space (it could), giving them the idea to photograph the Earth with a battery of cheap satellites. The author provides finely observed portraits of the figures behind the aerospace companies, describing how Chris Kemp's disregard for the rules helped get the rocket company Astra off the ground, as well as relating how Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck, "a self-taught rocket scientist who never went to college... managed to build a rocket company in New Zealand, which had no aerospace industry on which to lean." The focus on figures outside the limelight offers a fresh look at the new space race, and Vance's feels-like-you're-there storytelling captures the "spectacular madness" of the moonshots. It's The Right Stuff for the silicon age.