Synopses & Reviews
Thad Roberts, a fellow in a prestigious NASA program had an idea—a romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally.
Thad convinced his girlfriend and another female accomplice, both NASA interns, to break into an impregnable laboratory at NASA—past security checkpoints, an electronically locked door with cipher security codes, and camera-lined hallways—and help him steal the most precious objects in the world: the moon rocks.
But what does one do with an item so valuable that it’s illegal even to own? And was Thad Roberts—undeniably gifted, picked for one of the most competitive scientific posts imaginable, a possible astronaut—really what he seemed?
Mezrich has pored over thousands of pages of court records, FBI transcripts, and NASA documents and has interviewed most of the participants in the crime to reconstruct this Ocean’s Eleven–style heist, a madcap story of genius, love, and duplicity that reads like a Hollywood thrill ride.
"A promising NASA recruit throws everything away for a girl, illustrating the fascinating consequences when science, ambition, and starry-eyed love collide. In bestselling author Mezrich's telling, Thad Roberts, while at the University of Utah, became determined to be an astronaut and threw himself into science courses. He left his wife behind when he was accepted to the elite Johnson Space Center Cooperative Program in Houston, the training ground for NASA scientists. Despite his lack of an engineering background, Roberts excelled in the life sciences department. While cataloguing samples, he noticed the moon rocks NASA categorized as 'trash' samples returned after experiments. Then Roberts met and fell in love with a new recruit, Rebecca, and planned to give her the moon, or at least its profits, by stealing the 'used' moon rocks. Roberts devised the heist and arranged an online sale with a mineral collector in Belgium. The suspicious buyer alerted the FBI, which set up a sting, and Roberts was sentenced to eight years in federal prison. Mezrich (The Accidental Billionaires, from which The Social Network was adapted) has perfected his intensely readable brand of nonfiction: talented, often unscrupulous, young people skyrocketing to the top only to tumble back to earth. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
BEN MEZRICH is the New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House in addition to nine other books. The film 21, starring Kevin Spacey, was based on Bringing Down the House. The Social Network, which won an Oscar for best adaptation, was based on The Accidental Billionaires.