Freshly graduated and commissioned Planeteer Lt. Rip Foster is tasked with retrieving an asteroid made of pure thorium from the asteroid belt and bringing it to Earth for use as fissionable material. But the totalitarian Connies have their own plans for the asteroid...
eed a spack. Full gear, including bubble."
"Yessir." The spaceman looked him over with a practiced eye. "One full space pack. Medium-large, right, sir?"
"Correct." Rip took the counter stylus and inscribed his name, serial number, and signature on the blank plastic sheet. Gears whirred as the data was recorded.
The spaceman vanished into an inner room and reappeared in a moment lugging a plastic case called a space pack, or "spack" for short. It contained complete personal equipment for space travel. Rip grabbed it. "Fast service. Thanks, Rocky." All spacemen were called "Rocky" if you didn't know their names. It was an abbreviation for rocketeer, a title all of them had once carried.
Valve Eight was some distance away. Rip decided a cross ramp would be faster than the moving track. He swung the spack to his shoulder and made his legs go. Seconds were ticking off, and he had an idea that the SCN Scorpius would make space on time, whether or not he arrived. He lengthened hi
Excellent nuts-and-bolts Space-Patrol-style adventure, as the newly-minted Lt. \'Rip\' Foster of the S.O.S. takes on his first command assignment: Piloting an asteroid of valuable thorium from the outer edges of the Belt to Earth orbit. As if that wasn\'t tricky enough, he\'ll also have to fend off repeated hijack attempts by a nefarious Connie space cruiser.
Besides a few minor details, very little about this story seems dated, other than the obvious substitution of \'Connies\' for \'Commies\' (with the usual 50s Cold War tropes) and the lack of female characters.
Definitely worth a read.
rollicking good read! putting the science back into science fiction, with plenty of drama along the way.
This is a great book, especially for teenagers. It was the first book I read as a young teenager that got me started in a science career and a lifelong addiction to science fiction. In 1952 there was no widespread use of computers and Lieutenant Foster has to use a "space slid rule" to calculate the planetary physics of moving an asteroid to earth while in a space environment on the asteroid itself. Just to give you an appreciation of how much things have changed in the past 58 years. Nevertheless, this fast moving and exciting story is a great adventure, and those are always up to date.
Loads of fun! Hard to believe this was published in 1952. Doesn't seem like it's that out of date. Obviously there are some terms and references that seem dated, but the story reads with a pretty fresh, modern style. The author definitely was forward thinking and insightful.