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When the heavens went on sale :  the misfits and geniuses racing to put space within reach  Cover Image Book Book

When the heavens went on sale : the misfits and geniuses racing to put space within reach / Ashlee Vance.

Vance, Ashlee, (author.).


"With the launch of the Falcon 1 rocket in 2008, Elon Musk's SpaceX became the first private company to build a low-cost rocket that could reach orbit. And that milestone carried major implications: Silicon Valley, not NASA, was suddenly cemented as the epicenter of the new Space Age. Start-ups and the wealthy investors behind them began to realize that the universe-ungoverned and infinite-was open for business. Welcome to the wild west of aerospace engineering. When the Heavens Went on Sale tells the remarkable, unfolding story of this frenzied intergalactic land grab. Through his trademark immersive reporting, Ashlee Vance follows four pioneering companies-Astra, Firefly, Planet Labs, and Rocket Lab-as they build new space systems and attempt to launch rockets into orbit. While the public fixated on the space tourism being driven by Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson, these new companies arrived with a different set of goals: to make rocket and satellite launches fast and cheap, thereby opening Earth's lower orbit for business-and setting it up as the next playing field for humankind's technological evolution, where we can connect, analyze, and monitor everything on Earth. Vance has had a front row seat and singular access to this peculiar and unprecedented moment in history. When the Heavens Went on Sale travels through private company headquarters, labs, and top-secret launch locations around the world, including California, Texas, Alaska, New Zealand, Ukraine, India, and French Guiana. Vance chronicles it all in full color: the private jets, communes, gun-toting bodyguards, hallucinogens, espionage investigations, and multi-millionaires guzzling booze to dull the pain as their fortunes disappear. With the most detailed and intimate reporting of Vance's career, When the Heavens Went on Sale reveals the spectacular chaos of the new business of space, and what happens when the idealistic, ambitious minds of Silicon Valley turn their unbridled vision toward the limitless expanse of the stars. This is the most pressing and controversial technology story of our times, a tale of fascinating characters chasing unimaginable stakes as they race to space"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780062998873
  • ISBN: 0062998870
  • ISBN: 9780062998880
  • ISBN: 0062998889
  • Physical Description: 513 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York, NY : HarperCollins Publishers, [2023]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes index (pages 497-513).
Subject: Rockets (Aeronautics) > Research > Popular works.
Space tourism.
Outer space > Civilian use.
Outer space.

Available copies

  • 7 of 9 copies available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at North Kansas City.


  • 0 current holds with 9 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
North Kansas City Public Library 621.4356 VANCE 2023 (Text) 0001012513861 Nonfiction New Available -

Additional Resources