This is an afterword by professor Stephen Hawking: "Reads like a thriller - and reveals many secrets...one of the great entrepreneurial stories of our time". (Washington Post). From the age of eight, when he watched Apollo 11 land on the Moon, Peter Diamandis's singular goal was to get to space. When he realized NASA was winding down manned space flight, he set out on one of the great entrepreneurial adventure stories of our time. If the government wouldn't send him to space, he would create a private space flight industry himself. In the 1990s, this idea was the stuff of science fiction. Undaunted, Diamandis found inspiration in the golden age of aviation. He discovered that Charles Lindbergh made his transatlantic flight to win a $25,000 prize. The flight made Lindbergh the most famous man on earth and galvanized the airline industry. Why, Diamandis thought, couldn't the same be done for space flight? The story of the bullet-shaped SpaceShipOne, and the other teams in the hunt for a $10 million prize is an extraordinary tale of making the impossible possible.
In the end, as Diamandis dreamed, the result wasn't just a victory for one team; it was the foundation for a new industry.
"Hugely readable ... the story of how the prize was won is astonishing" Mail on Sunday "Reads like a thriller - and reveals many secrets... one of the great entrepreneurial stories of our time" Washington Post "If you admire those who aim really high, How to Make a Spaceship belongs on your bookshelf... a rousing anthem to the urge to explore." Wall Street Journal "Includes enough death-defying stunts, madcap schemes, wild coincidences, and rousing redemptive moments to fuel a dozen Hollywood blockbusters." Wired.com "Impressively ambitious... When the history of 21st-century space efforts is written decades or centuries from now, this book will be a valuable contemporary record of what it was like when humanity was trying to break out of its home." San Francisco Chronicle
Julian Guthrie is an award-winning journalist who spent 20 years at the San Francisco Chronicle and has been published by The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and others. Her most recent book is The Billionaire and the Mechanic, a bestselling 2014 account of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's pursuit of the America's Cup.