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|Author||G. Harry Stine|
|Genre||Science Fiction, Thriller|
Shuttle Down is a novel by American author G. Harry Stine, written under the nom de plume Lee Correy. First appearing as a four-part serial in Analog magazine between December 1980 and March 1981, the novel was later published by Ballantine/Del Rey in 1981, with a second edition following in 1985.
In the book, the Space Shuttle Atlantis launches on a polar orbit flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California. During the launch, the main engines cut off prematurely and the shuttle is forced to make an emergency landing on Rapa Nui, better known to most of the world as Easter Island.
Landing is just the start of the problems for NASA, who now have to deal with the immense technological challenge of getting the shuttle back home. Problems include lack of documents for the astronauts and shuttle, bringing in the crane that's used to lift the shuttle onto the specially modified 747 that carries it, widening the runway to accommodate the 747, building turn-arounds on the runway so that it can turn and take off again, bringing in fuel for the plane and many, many other problems.
In real life, and shortly after publication of this book, the United States paid the Chilean Government to improve the facilities at Mataveri International Airport on Rapa Nui in case of just such an emergency, and the airport now has a relatively long runway.
In addition, astronauts now carry passports and other documents, including traveller's cheques, in case of emergency landings.
- "Amazon.com: Shuttle Down: Books: Lee Correy by Lee Correy".
- Correy, Lee (December 1980). "Shuttle Down (Pt 1)". Analog Magazine. 100 (12).
- Correy, Lee (March 1981). "Shuttle Down (Pt 4)". Analog Magazine. 101 (3).
- Shuttle Down title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Review of Shuttle Down at Goldkeys.com
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