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"Inner Secrets of Outer Space"

Outer space may be 'transparent' (it's a vacuum) but when human beings venture there, they wrap both themselves and their secrets in strong protection. It's not just that spaceflight is technically complex and hard for ordinary folks to understand-it's that often those who practice this esoteric art don't WANT the public to understand what they are up to. Space program veteran and prolific popular author Oberg presents a series of 'space secrets' and discusses why they are secret, and how people can penetrate such secrecy. Why, for example, is there a gun aboard the International Space Station, and why won't NASA tell about it? What other 'secrets' about outer space life are being kept about what's supposed to be an open, taxpayer-funded peaceful space program - Oberg has the internal NASA memos and transcripts from private briefings and 'leaks'. Why did NASA officials apparently steal their own audio tapes of a critical safety meeting in 1997 and withhold them from the agency's own Inspector General? And what secrets have taken decades to slip out of the old Soviet space program? Oberg describes his decades-long campaign to discover the full truth of the 1960 'Nedelin Catastrophe' at Russia's space base, when 100 men perished in a launch pad accident set off by imprudent officials under intense Kremlin pressure. He also shows the hilarious sequence of group photographs of Russian cosmonaut teams in which unnamed individuals are air-brushed out one at a time as they are expelled from training, and the altered versions are then published in turn - Oberg describes how the truth came out, what happened to these men, and shows photographs of their graves. All in all, the whole adage holds true: it's better to tell the truth, because being a liar takes too good a memory.


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