"Only a decade away!" Yes, according to the well-known author of STEP TO THE STARS, this remarkable age that has produced rocket ships, guided missiles and hydrogen bombs will have a space station circling the Earth within the next ten years. World domination will be in the hands of the country that constructs it, and man will know, once and for all, whether he is free or slave. Such thoughts were far from Jim Stanley's mind when he was investigated by the FBI and later subjected to strange and rigorous tests. It wasn't until he satisfied the stiff requirements that he learned the United States was in the space station race for keeps and that he could count himself among the handful of men destined to breach the barriers of space in operation "Big Shush." Fascinating details of the construction and operation of the station are part and parcel of this tense and dramatic story. Treacherous sabotage by a dangerous foreign spy; Jim's almost fatal fall into the "empty, hungry depths of space"; and a savage fire which threatened the existence of the station add to the rising tide of excitement. Tying these explosive events together is a narrative that skillfully portrays the reaction of men to new and staggering experiences. Unequaled in its impact, STEP TO THE STARS is an adventure too probable to ignore. Whether you read it as a tale of the future or a forceful case for world co-operation, you can't help but feel that here indeed is the "prelude to space."
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Used availability for Lester del Rey's Step To the Stars
October 2015 : Paperback
February 2014 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition