Here is the most up-to-date history of man in space, researched by a NASA insider from astronaut interviews, diaries and speeches, with many revelations appearing in print for the first time, and even including material from top secret documents from the former Soviet Union. Astronauts shows space travel as its not been seen before and those who read it will be shocked at the reality of the dangers and failings of the space missions and full of admiration for the courage of those who travelled into space. There are surprises in these pages even to those who closely follow space exploration. Together, the diverse accounts reveal the astronauts' tales of courage and fear, and provide an authoritative and unique history of space exploration, from the missions of Laika, Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard and John Glenn, to Columbia, the International Space Station and SpaceShipOne, via the Vostok, Soyuz, Gemini and Apollo missions and the moon landings. Packed with extraordinary facts and anecdotes, Astronauts includes the story of how Korolev managed to get a man with curvature of the spine, ulcers, gastritis and missing fingers to be selected as a cosmonaut, alongside an account of how soviet agents tried to stop the launch of Apollo 8. Here too are comments from a space shuttle commander highlighting the terror induced by a space shuttle launch, as well as the reasons NASA did not want Buzz Aldrin to be the first to step onto the lunar surface.