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author: Eric Berger (2021)
date read: 22 September 2023
rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Some really interesting stories from the founding of SpaceX, and the first four launches of the Falcon 1 rocket. Eric got access to influential people at the company, with a lot of colour and detail on those early years.

With the current pace of Falcon 9 launches, it’s easy to imagine SpaceX as always being this successful – but those early years were much ropier than I realised. I learnt a lot.

I’ve been reading Eric’s writing on Ars Technica for years, and his writing style carries into the book. He’s able to explain technical aspects of the rocket without getting lost in it – I never found myself confused or overwhelmed by the physics. I knew enough to understand the story, which was usually focused on the people more than the technology.

It’s a little tricky to disentangle this from my personal feelings about Elon Musk and the SpaceX approach to work/life balance, but I can look past those to enjoy the book.

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