1st World Library

Damned to Heaven Cover Author
Damned to Heaven
The space shuttle is in trouble and there are those making sure the crew doesn't get back safely.

Bob Mahoney


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From the Author's Preface
Late into the night of January 31, 2003, I was plugging through what I hoped would be my final line-by-line edit. About 60% through the draft, I happened to be fine-tuning a chapter detailing the dire peril of the stranded astronaut crew if they tried reentry with their shuttle—a shuttle that had suffered left-side damage to a vital portion of its thermal protection system.

The next morning some of my former students perished in the sky less than 300 miles from my home.

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"Bob Mahoney has vividly portrayed the pressures, the dedication, and the fabled resourcefulness of the Mission Control Center team. His book comes alive because of his own personal experience and expertise to give us a 'Clancy-like' thriller of a story."

Glynn S. Lunney, Former Apollo Flight Director

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A work of fiction initially conceived more than twenty years ago, Damned to Heaven immerses the reader in a fast-paced world of real-time shuttle and space station operations, weaving an uncannily realistic storyline that taps the underlying yearning for humankind's continued exploration of the solar system.

Like many, William Francis Drake grew up on the exhilarating promise of the early space program. Now a flight director in Mission Control, he must admit that his space program has fallen far short of that youthful promise. The bureaucracy of the present has eroded his passion for the future. Yet a new hope has been born—the President has formulated a grand but controversial blueprint for solar system exploration and exploitation.

This new program's first critical milestone, however, involves unfinished business—completion of the ailing International Space Station Alpha.

Into this technical and political maelstrom a crisis descends. During one of the final ISS assembly missions, orbital debris strikes space shuttle Discovery, compromising its cabin and rendering a successful reentry dubious. Flight Director Drake and his team must swiftly advise the seven-person crew to either attempt reentry with their damaged thermal protection system or dock the dying Discovery to Alpha (already supporting a three-person crew) in the hope the ground can launch a rescue before the Station's degraded systems reach their limits.

Drake's struggle to retain his passion for spaceflight has suddenly become a matter of life and death—and even through the crisis, his battle with the bureaucracy rages on.

Contact Bob Mahoney

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What Reader's Are Saying

"I recently finished Damned to Heaven and wanted to let you know I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought you did a particularly good job of portraying mission ops. I also don't think your story is too far off on some of the political battles associated with the space program. Thank you for an enjoyable read, I look forward to your next novel." - Tim Jennings

"Just finished your book! Wow, I was exhausted! That would have made a GREAT sim! I think you need to get someone to make this into a movie. It's a cross between Apollo 13 and Indiana Jones!"
- Chuck Shaw

Excerpts from Damned To Heaven:


From Chapter 1 - The Near Future

From Chapter 15 - Soyuz Undocking

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