In Liftoff, Eric Berger, senior space editor at Ars Technica, takes readers inside the wild early days that made SpaceX. Focusing on the company's first four launches of the Falcon 1 rocket, he charts the bumpy journey from scrappy underdog to aerospace pioneer. We travel from company headquarters in El Segundo, to the isolated Texas ranchland where they performed engine tests, to Kwajalein, the tiny atoll in the Pacific where SpaceX launched the Falcon 1. Berger has reported on SpaceX for more than a decade, enjoying unparalleled journalistic access to the company's inner workings. Liftoff is the culmination of these efforts, drawing upon exclusive interviews with dozens of former and current engineers, designers, mechanics, and executives, including Elon Musk. The enigmatic Musk, who founded the company with the dream of one day settling Mars, is the fuel that propels the book, with his daring vision for the future of space.
Eric Berger’s Liftoff focuses on the early days of SpaceX, a smart choice, since it offers a vivid window into Elon Musk’s brinksmanship ... Berger chooses to do his reporting through the lens of SpaceX insiders, whose lives are sketched in capsule biographies ... Berger does a good job of sketching the cozy world of rocket science ... Berger does a great job here of not only profiling SpaceX, but also capturing the total brinksmanship of its swashbuckling founder.
Eric Berger, senior space editor at the Ars Technica website, does a fine job of telling the white-knuckle story of how SpaceX was created in 2002 and came close to collapse several times. Although Liftoff recounts the experiences of many of SpaceX’s brilliant engineers, the near-maniacal Musk is almost always at the heart of the story.