> Skip to content
  • Published: 6 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473568600
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

Test Gods

Tragedy and Triumph in the New Space Race




Meet the astronauts forging a new world of commercial space travel

'Masterly' New York Times
'Riveting' Scott Kelly
'Remarkable' The Times

When Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004, his goal was simple: to offer paying customers a trip to space by the end of the decade. Seventeen years, countless delays, and one catastrophic crash later, his space tourism dream may finally be on the verge of reality.

Now, a New Yorker journalist offers the definitive portrait of the adventurers leading the way to the stars. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with Virgin's lead test pilot, Mark Stucky, Test Gods describes the making of a modern astronaut: from starry-eyed youth to NASA, the Air Force, and Virgin Galactic; and through dozens of gruelling test flights to his first successful trip beyond the earth's atmosphere.

The result is the most vivid exploration of an astronaut's inner life since Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff. It offers an intimate and unique insight into the new space race.

  • Published: 6 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473568600
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

About the author

Nicholas Schmidle

Nicholas Schmidle joined the New Yorker as a staff writer in 2012. His first article for the magazine, ‘Getting bin Laden’, was a National Magazine Award finalist. Since then, he has written about a Russian arms trafficker, an antiquarian book forger, a wrongful conviction in Chicago, the former national-security adviser Michael Flynn, and many others. The winner of a Kurt Schork Award for freelance journalism, he is a two-time Livingston Award finalist, and has received fellowships from the Institute of Current World Affairs and the New America Foundation. In 2017, he was a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University. He lives in London.

Related titles