When The Heavens Went On Sale

The Misfits and Geniuses Racing to Put Space Within Reach

Ashlee Vance author

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Ebury Publishing

Published: 11th May '23



This title is due to be published on 11th May, and will be despatched as soon as possible..

'One of the most exciting tales of our time... It's the next tech frontier, and Vance turns it into a thriller' Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs

'Eloquent, expertly reported' Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store

A momentous look at the private companies driving the revolutionary new space race, from the 3-million copy, New York Times bestselling
author of Elon Musk

In 2008, Elon Musk's SpaceX became the first private company to build a low-cost rocket that could reach orbit. Suddenly Silicon Valley, not NASA, was the epicentre of the new Space Age.

Ashlee Vance follows four pioneering companies - Astra, Firefly, Planet Labs and Rocket Lab - as they race to control access to outer space. While the space tourism ambitions of billionaires such as Bezos and Branson make headlines, these under-the-radar companies are striving to monetise Earth's lower orbit; to connect, analyse and monitor everything on Earth.

With unprecedented access to private company headquarters, labs and top-secret launch locations - from the US to New Zealand, Ukraine to India - Vance presents a gripping account of private jets, communes, gun-toting bodyguards, drugs, espionage investigations and multimillionaires guzzling booze as their fortunes disappear.

This is the most pressing and controversial technology story of our time. Welcome to the new Wild West above the clouds.

The frenzied race by stargazing entrepreneurs to build a new economy in space is one of the most exciting tales of our time. Ashlee Vance, with his immersive reporting and exuberant writing, has captured the ambition and idealism of the colourful characters who are not only transforming our world but our heavens. It's the next tech frontier, and Vance turns it into a thriller -- Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of STEVE JOBS
[A] fantastic new book . . . I can highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in space, especially if you want to know how space startups work behind the public promises and marketing * Ars Technica *
A new testament for New Space, and an eloquent, expertly-reported ode to the swaggering geniuses who are opening the final frontier -- Brad Stone, author of THE EVERYTHING STORE and AMAZON UNBOUND
Vance has delivered that rare book that educates and entertains while opening the reader up to a brand-new universe of wonderful characters and ideas. It's non-fiction that reads like a novel -- Andy Weir, author of THE MARTIAN and HAIL MARY
Through incisive reporting and colorful prose, Ashlee Vance takes us on a thrilling ride to the outer limits of human achievement -- Sheelah Kolhatkar, bestselling author of BLACK EDGE
[An] exciting account... provides finely observed portraits of the figures behind the aerospace companies...offers a fresh look at the new space race, and Vance's feels-like-you're-there storytelling captures the "spectacular madness" of the moonshots. It's The Right Stuff for the silicon age * Publishers Weekly (starred review) *
[An] energetic account...[Vance] ably captures 'the spectacular madness of it all.' With enthusiasm and solid research, this book is an entertaining, informative look at cutting-edge technology * Kirkus *
The spectacle of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and other technology scions shooting themselves into space may give you the idea that the whole experience is an ego trip, but Vance, the author of a best-selling biography of Musk, encourages readers to think bigger. He follows four companies - Astra, Firefly, Planet Labs and Rocket Lab - in this interplanetary land grab, all with the hope of making Earth's lower orbit the next site of technological innovation -- 19 Works of Nonfiction to Read this Spring * New York Times *

ISBN: 9780753557754

Dimensions: 240mm x 156mm x 40mm

Weight: 750g

528 pages