Synopses & Reviews
"Space Sleuths of the Cold War" relates for the first time the inside story of the amateur spies who monitored the Soviet space program during the Cold War. It is written by many of those "space sleuths" themselves and chronicles the key moments in their discovery of hidden history. This book shows that dedicated observers were often better than professionals at interpreting that information coming out of the USSR during the dark days of the Cold War. This book takes a unique approach to the history of Soviet spaceflight - looking at the personal stories of some of the researchers as well as the space secrets the Soviets tried to keep hidden. The fascinating account often reads like a Cold War espionage novel. "Space Sleuths of the Cold War" includes an impressive list of contributors, such as: Editor Dominic Phelan, giving an overall history of the Cold War hunt for Soviet space secrets. Space writer Brian Harvey reveals his own personal search through official Soviet radio and magazines to find out what they were (and weren't) revealing to the outside world at the height of the space race. Sven Grahn from Sweden details his own 40 year quest to understand what was happening on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Professional American historian Asif Siddiqi explores his own adventures in the once secret Russian archives - often seeing documents never before read by Westerners. Dutch cosmonaut researcher Bert Vis provides an inside account of the Yuri Gagarin training center in Moscow. Belgian researcher Bart Hendrickx's
From the reviews: "A network of amateur sleuths, scattered throughout the world, attempted to penetrate the veil of secrecy and eventually succeeded. 'Cold War Space Sleuths: The Untold Secrets of the Soviet Space Program,' edited by Dominic Phelan, tells their stories. ... For those interested in space history and the space race, 'Cold War Space Sleuths' will offer a fresh and innovative perspective. It recaptures the excitement of the era through the eyes of enthusiastic researchers." (Mark Lardas, The Galveston County Daily News, March, 2013)
With fascinating personal accounts of an often forgotten aspect of the Cold War space race, this book tells the inside story of the amateur spies who monitored the Soviet space program during the Cold War--and who often outperformed the professionals.
Cold War Space Sleuths reads like a Cold War espionage novel, but the reality of the story about the dedicated amateur observers bent on finding out about Soviet spaceflight during the Cold War is just as exciting and absorbing. Told in the sleuth's own words, each chapter unfolds a piece of the hidden history of what was happening behind the Iron Curtain. Coming from all over the world, including Russia itself, the amateur spies give first-hand accounts of often-forgotten aspects of the Cold War space race. Amongst others, their stories include: - the history of the Kettering Group; - looking inside the Russian archives; - unsolved mysteries, such as why cosmonauts were airbrushed out of the official archives; - reading between the lines of the Soviet media; - the impact of Gorbachev's glasnost on sleuthing; - new research, including chapters by James Oberg, Asif Siddiqi, and Bart Hendrickx.
About the Author
Phillip Clark was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1950 and became interested in spaceflight after listening to the early NASA manned missions at school. He focused on Soviet spaceflight at the time of the Apollo 11 mission and began corresponding with Geoffrey Perry of the Kettering Group. Clark has an Open University (OU) degree in mathematics and computing, and pioneered the use of computer analysis to uncover the roles of obscure Soviet and Western reconnaissance satellites from their orbits. For many years he was a space consultant for the BBC and is the author of the 1988 book The Soviet Manned Space Programme. He currently lives in Hastings, England. Sven Grahn is from Stockholm, Sweden, and as a teenager helped launch sounding rockets from the Kronogard rocket base. He holds a master's in engineering physics and joined the Swedish Space Corporation in 1975. Grahn was the project manager for Sweden's first microgravity project (a module for the German TEXUS rocket) first launched in 1977, deputy project manager for Sweden's first satellite VIKING (launched in 1986), and engineering manager for the first satellite entirely designed and integrated in Sweden - the FREJA magnetospheric satellite launched by China in October 1992. From 1993 until 2001 he headed to a Swedish Space Corporation team designing sounds rocket payloads, balloon gondolas and small satellites. Between 2001-2006 he was Senior Vice-President of Engineering at the corporation. Brian Harvey is a writer, broadcaster and journalist based in Dublin, Ireland. He has a degree in history and political science from Dublin University (Trinity College) and a masters in economic and social history from University College Dublin. His first space book, Race into Space (Ellis Horwood, 1988), was a history of the Soviet space programme. He has since written histories of a number of the world's space powers, paying close attention to China. His Russian Space Probes (co-authored with Olga Zakutnyaya, Springer-Praxis 2011) is a history of Russian and Soviet space science. Bart Hendrickx was born in Kapellen, Belgium, in 1964. An early fascination with Russian spaceflight developed into an interest in the language. He has a Masters in Dutch-English-Russian translation in 1986. Hendrickx is a full-time language teacher at the University of Ghent. He has written extensively on the history of the Soviet space programme, primarily based on the Russian-language sources. He is co-author (with Bert Vis; Springer-Praxis, 2007) of
Table of Contents
Foreword.- Editor's introduction.- Acknowledgements.- Chapter 1: Space sleuths and their 'scoops' Dominic Phelan.- Chapter 2: Hidden in plain view Brian Harvey.- Chapter 3: The satellite trackers Sven Grahn.- Chapter 4: Cosmonauts who weren't there James Oberg.- Chapter 5: The view from Paris Claude Wachtel and Christian Lardier.- Chapter 6: Orbital elements of surprise Phillip Clark.- Chapter 7: Adventures in Star City Bert Vis.- Chapter 8: Russian-language sleuthing Bart Hendrickx.- Chapter 9: People and archives Asif Siddiqi.- Chapter 10: Urban cosmonauts and space historians David J. Shayler.- Contributors.- Index.