This exciting survey of the American space science program is the work of a top NASA administrator. Ranging from the laboratory to launching pad and from international conference halls to lunar wastelands, it chronicles technological advances, explores the relationship of space science to general science, and places the space program in a broader social, political, and economic context. Homer E. Newell was instrumental in the founding of NASA and worked for the agency from its inception until 1973. In the early 1960s, he influenced or directly controlled virtually all of the free world's nonmilitary unmanned space missions. Newell's insider perspective offers fascinating insights into the personalities, opinions, and steady advance of ideas that characterize the U.S. space program.