Posts Tagged ‘In Exchange’

Taking a break from release news, we’re giving over the blog today to an extract from Steven M. Caddy’s exploration adventure novel In Exchange.


Order In Exchange, Book 1 in the Michael Morgan series by Steven M. Caddy for £11.99 including free UK delivery

“Sunlight shone in through the windows in Michael’s room. The windows were too high to see out of, unless you climbed up to peek out. The benefit of having such high windows was that the space agency didn’t have to bother with any curtains.

Michael stirred having slept well. His feet were hanging over the side of the bed, and the pillows were on the floor. For a moment, he forgot where he was, but managed to stay still enough to not fall out of bed again. His shin was a little bruised from his adventure trying to cross the room in the dark the night before. He sat himself up to have a look at his surroundings. He’d been too tired to look at anything in detail the previous night.

Michael’s room was sparsely decorated, with painted cinder block walls. Next to his bed was a small white table that had a lamp and a telephone on it. He sighed; thinking how useful the lamp would have been if he’d spotted it before turning off the lights. It might have prevented his injury. Michael rolled across the bed, and played with the lamp’s switch. The lamp came on. Michael turned it off again, and tutted.

On the floor were the clothes that Michael had travelled in, the elasticated plimsolls similar to the ones he wore on the space station, his two bags, and the piles of clothes that had been on his bed when he arrived. Michael slid off the bed, and sat himself on the floor to inspect the clothing. There were four plain t-shirts of various colours to go with the white one he was wearing, a light blue short-sleeved shirt, some basic underwear and socks, a couple of pairs of shorts, some blue canvas trousers, a pair of trainers, a pair of black leather shoes, and a thick fluffy towelling dressing robe. He put on the dressing robe, and felt warmer. At the end of his bed, he also found a pair of sturdy walking boots, which felt heavy and didn’t appeal to him.”

You can get your copy of In Exchange from the Etsy store, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Nook, iBooks and Amazon.


As you may have noticed, we have a number of locations that you can buy officially sanctioned merchandise from, however most of this isn’t directly available from us. But we do have an etsy store that you can purchase eBooks, paperback books and even posters directly from us.

Our current range of products includes:

RE 1 bestseller

The paperback and digital copies of Rising Empire: Part 1, Book 1 in The Chronicles of Celadmore

eBook £2.39
Paperback £11.98
Paperback, eBook, Poster & Postcards Gift Set £16.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

RE 2 bestseller

The paperback and digital copies of Rising Empire: Part 2, Book 2 in The Chronicles of Celadmore

eBook £2.39
Paperback £11.98
Paperback, eBook, Poster & Postcards Gift Set £16.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

SoD bestseller

The paperback and digital copies of Shroud of Darkness, Book 4 in The Chronicles of Celadmore

eBook £2.39
Paperback £12.98
Paperback, eBook, Poser & Postcards Gift Set £16.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

LoF bestseller

The paperback and digital copies of Lady of Fire, Book 5 in The Chronicles of Celadmore

eBook £2.39
Paperback £12.98
Paperback, eBook, Poster & Postcards Gift Set £16.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

EoD bestseller

The paperback and digital copies of End of Days, Book 6 in The Chronicles of Celadmore:

eBook £2.39

Paperback £11.98

Paperback, eBook, Poster & Postcards Gift Set £16.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

SoD Tril bestseller

Are you already enjoying the Rising Empire trilogy? Then you can get the next three books in the Chronicles of Celadmore as a single boxset:

eBook £6
Paperback £17.99

All prices include shipping for domestic and international customers.

Beginnings best seller

The life of a private investigator is not the glamorous one that the movies would have you believe – join Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren in Beginnings, Book 1

eBook £2.39
Paperback £11.98
Paperback, eBook & Poster Gift Set £14.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

kevin Metis best sellerThe life of a private investigator is not the glamorous one that the movies would have you believe – join Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren in the Kevin Metis Saga, Book 2
eBook £2.39
Paperback £9.98
Paperback, eBook & Poster Gift Set £14.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

Derek Long best seller

The life of a private investigator is not the glamorous one that the movies would have you believe – join Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren in the Derek Long Saga, Book 3

eBook £2.39
Paperback £9.98
Paperback, eBook & Poster Gift Set £14.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

FATE bestseller

A viking saga for children, Fate is the ideal book for children from ages 5 to 500.

eBook £1.80
Paperback £6.98
Paperback, eBook & Poster Gift Set £11.95

All prices include postage and packaging for UK customers. International shipping is priced at £2.51

Map Poster

If you already have your copy of Fate, then the map of Viking Denmark is the ideal accessory to put on your wall.

Printed on 135 gsm, A3 paper and coated with a gloss finish, the map is the perfect way to track the adventures of Erland, Eva, Christian, Dalla, Riki and Wifrith.

Map £7 including international shipping


Journey into the not too distant future and discover what it’s like to live in space and experience life on Planet Earth for the first time through the eyes of Michael Morgan

Paperback £11.98

Domestic shipping is free. International shipping is set at £2.51

It’s July 1st once again, which means it’s Indie Pride Day! Yes, it’s one of our favourite days of the years (the others including May 4th, Tolkien’s birthday, World Book Day, the E3 conference days – well we could go on, but it’s still a pretty great day)

It’s been a bit of an up and down and quiet time for use here at Mightier Than the Sword UK for a wide variety of reasons. In the next week we expect to be making some major announcements on a range of topics, so keep checking back for those.

So as it is Indie Pride Day, we wanted to take this opportunity to shout about two books in particular.

  1. In Exchange


Yes, the children’s space epic aimed at boys between 12 and 16 is one that we could gush about all day, but instead we will simply say that this is an incredible book that is a must read for any space enthusiast – young or merely young at heart.


Though we have yet to do an official blog post about this one, Fate is the first book in the series, The Children of Ribe and C.S. Woolley’s first children’s book. Set in the Viking lands of Denmark, this is a book for children of any age – it’s written as a book that can be read on your own or out loud as stories in the Viking times were told (we’re waiting for someone to attempt singing the whole thing).

Priced from £1.80 for digital copies and from £4.99 for paperbacks – there really is no reason why you can’t find yourself gripped by FATE today!




On 28th January 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight. The seven crew members (5 NASA astronauts and 2 Payload Specialists) all died. An O-ring seal on the right solid rocket booster failed and led to the disintegration of Challenger.

The Crew Members


Left to right: Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe; payload specialist Gregory Jarvis; astronaut Judith A. Resnik, mission specialist; Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, mission commander; Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist; Mike J. Smith, pilot; and Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist. Photo credit: NASA.

Recovery, Funerals and Time of Death

The time of death for some of the crew members is unknown. The crew compartment had no escape system, and after along search and recovery operation, it was eventually recovered from the ocean floor. Some of the crew members survived the initial disintegration of the shuttle, however the impact of the crew compartment with the surface of the ocean was too violent for those that were still alive in the crew compartment to survive.

Payload Specialist, Christa McAuliffe was due to be the first teacher in space and though only 17% of Americans watched the launch live, 85% of Americans knew about the disaster only an hour after it had happened due to extensive media coverage.

When the bodies of the crew were recovered, they had become semi-liquified. It took several hours for the bodies and fragments of the bodies to be removed due to the it being unsafe for Navy divers to recover the bodies. During the recovery, George Jarvis’ body floated out of the crew compartment and the diving team was unable to recover it. Astronaut, Robert Crippen, rented a fishing boat out of his own pocket and went in search of Jarvis’missing body. On 15th April, Navy divers found Jarvis’ body and recovered it. It was taken to be processed with the other crew members before it was released to his family.

Due to the condition of the bodies after they had been recovered, it was impossible for Navy pathologists to determine a cause of death. However, some of the life support equipment in the crew compartment, that was recovered, had been activated and after investigation it was shown that it had been used between the disintegration and the impact with the ocean.

Three months and a day after the crew transfer took place, on 29th April 1986. The Challenger crew were escorted by astronauts, Dan Brandenstein, Jim Buckley, Norm Thagard, Charles Bolden, Tammy Jernigan, Dick Richards and Lorn Shriver. They were flown from Cape Canaveral to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where they were released to their relatives.

Judith Resnik, Dick Scobee, and Captain Michael J. Smith, were buried by their families at Arlington National Cemetery at individual grave sites. Mission Specialist Lieutenant Colonel, Ellison Onizuka, was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. Christa McAuliffe’s remains are buried at Calvary Cemetery in Concord, New Hampshire, her home town. The unidentified crew remains were buried at the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial in Arlington on May 20, 1986.

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order forSmashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble andKindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

The Space Shuttle Discovery was the third of the five shuttles to be built by NASA. Discovery was the third shuttle after the Space Shuttle Columbia and the Space Shuttle Challenger.

The Service of Discovery

The Space Shuttle Discovery flew it’s first mission from 30th August to 5th September 1984 and was in use for over 27 years. It landed 39 times and gathered more spaceflights than any other spacecraft to date and accumulated a total number of days in space that adds up to almost a year.

It’s final mission launched on 24th February 2011 came to an end on 9th March 2011 when Discovery touched down at the Kennedy Space Center.

Discovery was the Space Shuttle that launched the Hubble Space Telescope and was the first space shuttle to be retired.

Discovery, like the other Space Shuttles, was named after several ships of exploration. The ships are thought to include the HMS Discovery captained by Captain James Cook, Henry Hudson’s Discovery, the British Arctic Expedition ship, HMS Discovery, and the RSS Discovery, which led the 1901-1904 Discovery Expedition to the Antarctica.

Decommission and Display

NASA donated the Space Shuttle Discovery to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum so that it could be preserved and displayed for the public to visit. It took a month to decontaminate the space shuttle and the Space Shuttle Discovery replaced the Enterprise at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia. It arrived at the center and went on display on 19th April 2012.

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

The Apollo program paved the way for space travel and exploration as we know it, but the legacy that the Apollo program left behind is somehow greater than getting men to the moon.

Apollo 1 – 10

595px-Apollo_1_patch.pngApollo 1 – Planned for 21st Febraury 1967, Apollo 1 never launched. On 27th January 1967, a fire started in the Apollo command module during a test on the launch pad. The module was destroy and the three astronauts, Grissom, White and Chaffee were killed. The launch vehicle for Apollo 1 was undamaged in the fire and was used for the Apollo 5 mission.

9th November 1967 – Apollo 4 was an unmanned mission and the first flight of the Saturn V rocket.

22 January 1968 – Apollo 5 was another unmanned mission and the first flight of the Lunar Module.

4th April 1968 – Apollo 6 was the third unmanned Apollo mission and was the second flight of Saturn V. NASA identified and fixed causes of vibrations that caused two second-stage engines to shut down before they were supposed to and the third stage restart to fail. After Apollo 6, the Saturn V was declared man-rated.

AP7lucky711th October 1968 – Apollo 7 was lucky number 7 in the Apollo program and the first manned Apollo flight. It was a test flight of the Block II CSM in Earth orbit and it was also the first manned flight of the Saturn IB. Apollo 7 was the only manned Apollo mission not to be made from LC 39. It was also the first live TV broadcast from an American spacecraft. It was crewed by Schirra, Eisele and Cunningham, who had originally been slated as the command crew for the cancelled Apollo 2 mission.

Apollo-8-patch.png21st December 1968 – Apollo 8 was the first manned circumlunar flight of the CSM and it made 10 orbits of the moon in 20 hours. It was also the first manned flight of the Saturn V. The crew of Borman, Lovell and Anders were the first people to ever see the far side of the Moon and the earth rise over the lunar horizon with their own eyes. Live pictures were televised back to Earth.

Apollo-9-patch3rd March 1969 – Apollo 9 spent 10 days orbiting the Earth and was the first manned flight test of the Lunar Module.The Command Module was Gumdrop and it carried McDivitt, Scott and Schweickart and allowed them to test the Lunar Module, Spider.

Apollo-10-LOGO.png18th May 1969 – Apollo 10 is a mission you would be forgiven for thinking was Peanuts, what with the Command Module, Charlie Brown, and the Lunar Module, Snoopy. Apollo 10 was the dress rehearsal for the lunar landing. The Lunar Module was manned by Stafford and Cernan, and flown around the Moon, whilst Young remained in the Command Module. It descended to 8.4 nautical miles but didn’t land on the Moon.

Apollo 11Apollo 11

Landing in the Sea of Tranquillity, Apollo 11 was the first time man went to the moon and is the most famous of all the Apollo missions. Launched on 16th July 1969, the Command Module was Columbia that carried Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin into space and the Lunar Module was Eagle, that led to the infamous quote, “the eagle has landed”.

Apollo 12 – 17

AP12goodship.png14th November 1969 – Apollo 12 was manned by Conrad, Gordon and Bean in the Command Module, Yankee Clipper, and the Lunar Module, Intrepid. Two lightning strikes hit the spacecraft during launch causing a brief loss of telemetry and fuel cells, but the mission still went ahead. Apollo 12 was the first manned Moon landing in the Ocean of Storms, though the lunar TV camera was damaged due to accidental exposure to the Sun.

338745main_13-lg11th April 1970 – Apollo 13 was intended to travel to the Moon and land at Fra Mauro, but was aborted due to the disastrous explosion in the SM oxygen tank, that caused the Command Module, Odyssey, to be abandoned and the Lunar Module, Aquarius was used as a lifeboat by Lovell, Swigert and Haise in order to safely return to Earth.

Apollo_14-insignia.png31st January 1971 – Apollo 14 successfully landed at Fra Mauro, fulfilling the mission parameters of the failed Apollo 13 mission. Apollo 14 provided the first colour video images from the surface of the Moon and was when the first materials science experiments were conducted in space. The Command Module, Kitty Hawk, carried Shepard, Roosa and Mitchell into space, and the Lunar Module, Antares took Shepard and Mitchell to the Moon, where Shepard performed the famous golf shot.

Apollo_15-insignia26th July 1971 – Apollo 15 landed at the Hadley-Apennine and was the first “J series” mission where the astronauts stayed on the Moon for 3 days and conducted extension geological investigations. Apollo 15 was the first time that a Lunar Roving Vehicle was used. Scott, Worden and Irwin were carried into space in the Command Module, Endeavour, and the Lunar Module, Falcon took Scott and Irwin to the lunar surface.

Apollo-16-LOGO16th April 1972 – Apollo 16 landed in the Descartes Highlands. There were several problems for this Apollo mission, but Young, Mattingly and Duke still managed to get into space in the Command Module, Casper, and Young and Duke were carried to the Descartes Highlands by the Lunar Module, Orion.

600px-Apollo_17-insignia7th December 1972 – Apollo 17 was the final Apollo mission. The Command Module, America carried Cernan, Evans and Schmitt into space, and the Lunar Module, Challenger, successful landed at Taurus-Littrow. Schmitt was a geologist and the first professional scientist to go on a NASA mission into space.

The Cancelled Apollos

Even with the successful Apollo missions there were four Apollo missions that were scrubbed.

Apollo 2 was scheduled for August 1967 with Schirra, Eisele and Cunningham manning the spacecraft, however it was cancelled on 22nd December 1966 as it was deemed an unnecessary mission.

Apollo 18 was scheduled for February 1972 with Gordon, Brand and Schmitt manning the spacecraft. It was cancelled on 2nd September 1970 due to budget cuts.

The same fate awaited Apoll0 19. It was also cancelled due to budget cuts on 2nd September 1970, meaning that Haise, Pogue and Carr didn’t blast off in July 1972.

Apollo 20 was the last of the Apollo missions to be cancelled as the launch vehicle was required to launch the Skylab space station. Skylab 1 was launched on 14th May 1973.


In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.


Apollo 11

Apollo 11 Mission Badge, NASA

“It’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” These words still give people goosebumps when they hear them, such is the impact that Neil Armstrong stepping out onto the surface of the moon had on the hearts and minds of millions.

The first moon landing, after so many firsts, was something different from merely putting men and women into space – it was exploration of worlds beyond our own, of that great lump of rock in the sky that has so much influence over life being sustained on Earth. It was an event that spoke to the human sense of adventure, that need to explore and discover new things, to learn more about the universe around us.

Going to the moon

The primary mission objective of the Apollo 11 launch was set on 25th May 1961, when President John F. Kennedy declared that America would put a man on the moon before the end of the decade. Man had already ventured into space when Kennedy made his statement, and many more would follow before man made it to the moon.


s69-39961On 16th July 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins stepped out into the heat of the Floridian morning at the Kennedy Space Center and marched towards the Saturn V rocket.

At 9:32am EDT, ignition sent these three men hurtling towards the heavens and the history books.

“Tranquillity Base here, the Eagle has landed!”

The Eagle was the lunar module that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in. The men were landing on a part of the moon that is known as the Sea of Tranquillity.

During the final descent, the Eagle computer alarms went off. Having seen so many disasters already, it was a tense moment for not only Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong, but also for all those back at NASA. Fortunately the alarms were triggered by the computer trying to do too many things at once.

At 4:18pm EDT, Neil Armstrong radioed in, “Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.” The tension was broken and those in mission control began celebrating, returning the message, “You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue, we’re breathing again.”

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

o-APOLLO-11-ANNIVERSARY-facebookBefore Neil Armstrong could step out of the Eagle, there were other preparations to make and TV stations around the world had over half a billion people tuned in to watch.

At 10:56pm EDT, Neil Armstrong stepped out of the Eagle, climbed down the ladder and became the first man to ever set foot on the moon, making his immortal statement, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Buzz Aldrin followed shortly after and the two men planted the American flag and explored the surface of the moon. They also placed a patch on the moon, honouring the crew of Apollo 1.

The Eagle was also left behind, and on one of it’s legs is a plaque that reads “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

Home again

Aldrin and Armstrong rejoined Collins in the Columbia and headed back to Earth. The crew splashed down off the coast of Hawaii on 24th July 1969.

10 other astronauts have been to the moon since Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan was the commander of the last Apollo mission to the moon and said when departing, “We leave as we came and, God willing, as we return, with peace, and hope for all mankind.”

Nixon’s Speech

downloadOne of the things that fortunately never had to be used in relation to the 1969 moon landing is the failure speech that President Nixon wrote:

“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

imagesOthers will follow and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.”

There are always risks when it comes to space travel and yet, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong went anyway. Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepared went anyway. Alexei Leonov and Ed White stepped out into the vacuum of space despite the risks. There have been so many accidents and disasters involved in space travel and yet we keep going as a species, we keep pushing for more and extraordinary individuals keep stepping up for the next challenge, even when previous missions have ended in disaster.

Mission to Mars

Mars is the next place for man to go and Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin is strongly abdicating a mission to Mars, so much so he has written a book about his vision for space exploration.

“We need to make sure that the experience that we’ve invested in at the moon helps us to be the leader to establish the first human beings that set foot on the planet Mars,” Buzz Aldrin says in a video preview for the book.

NASA’s deep space exploration program has Mars as a goal for astronaut exploration at some point during the 2030s, the immediate goal is visiting an asteroid by 2025 (yes, we thought about the asteroid in Armageddon too)

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

Though Alexei Leonov was the first man to walk in space, the first American to walk in space stepped out into the black a few  years after Leonov.

Ed White

Edward Higgins “Ed” White II performed his spacewalk as part of the Gemini 4 mission. On 3rd June 1965 Ed White stepped out into space and enjoyed the experience so much he didn’t want to return to the spacecraft at the end of the allotted time for the EVA. He had to be ordered back inside.

During his spacewalk, one of the spare thermal gloves floated out of the open hatch and became one of the first items of space debris in low orbit, though it burned up on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Like many space flights, there was an element of near disaster that came with the Gemini 4 mission. There was a mechanical problem  with the hatch mechanism. This made it difficult to open and shut. It was even difficult to relatch. The men managed to secure the hatch.If they hadn’t been able to, the lives of both Ed White and the Command Pilot, James McDivitt would have been in danger.

Tragedy was not far away

In March 1966, Ed White was selected as the Senior Pilot for the Apollo flight AS-204. Also assigned to this mission were Virgil ‘Gus’ Grissom and Roger Chaffee. During a test of the craft on 27th January 1967, a fire broke out in the cabin. The cabin was filled with pure oxygen. The three men were all killed by asphyxiation and smoke inhalation.

White’s job was to open the hatch cover in an emergency. The position his body was found in showed that he had attempted to do so, but opening the hatch was impossible. The plug door design needed venting and due to the location of the fire, Grissom couldn’t reach the cabin vent control.

The cause of the fire was never determined, however many safety problems were addressed after the fire.

Ed White was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1997 along with Roger Chaffee but President Clinton. Gus Grissom had received his posthumous Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978.

Other recipients of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor include Pete Conrad, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Frank Borman, John Young, Jim Lovell, Shannon Lucid, Thomas P. Stafford, Kalpana Chawla, Christa McAuliffe and Laurel B. Clark

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

maxresdefaultIt has been just over 51 years since the first man freely floated in space. Alexei Leonov, a Soviet cosmonaut. Leonov spent 12 minutes floating in space above planet Earth tethered to his ship by a 16ft cable.

Though the idea of walking in space seems to be somewhat routine in the exploration of space; there have been more than 200 astronauts that have floated in space on EVAs since Leonov, undertaking tasks that range from making repairs to the Hubble telescope to building the International Space Station.

Leonov’s Space Walk

On 18th March 1965, Leonov took off in the Voskhod 2 capsule that he shared with Commander Pavel Belyayev.

Leonov was no stranger to the idea of space travel, he had been the man who trained Yuri Gagarin after all, and he was going to make his own journey amongst the stars.

In an interview last year with the Observer, Leonov commented, “It was so quiet I could even hear my heart beat. I was surrounded by stars and was floating without much control. I will never forget the moment. I also felt an incredible sense of responsibility. Of course, I did not know that I was about to experience the most difficult moments of my life – getting back into the capsule.”

The capsule made one orbit around the Earth before Leonov was given the green light for his spacewalk. The first portion of the spacewalk was a success, but when it came to getting back into the capsule, things started to go wrong.

The vacuum in space had caused his spacesuit to begin to balloon out of shape. The fabric became dangerous stiff, his hands slipped out of his gloves and his feet slipped out of the boots – worst of all, Leonov couldn’t fit back through the airlock.

The spacecraft was moving in an orbit around the Earth all the time Leonov was out making his spacewalk, and he had only five minutes to get back into the capsule before they reached the dark side of the Earth.

Aleksey_Leonov_ASTP_-_croppedIn order to shrink the suit, Leonov began to bleed the air from it and the suit began to return to normal size. However, it was at this point that Leonov realised that he was exhibiting the first signs of decompression sickness.

Despite this, Leonov managed to squeeze himself, head first, back through the airlock. His temperature was through the roof and he collapsed back in his seat, beside Belyayev in an exhausted state. But his troubles were not over yet.

The airlock was no longer needed, so it was fired off into space. The force of the explosion caused Voskhod 2 to rotate, causing both Leonov and Belyayev to become disorientated. The instruments showed that the oxygen levels in the capsule were rapidly climbing and threatened to start a fire that would have burned both men alive. For several hours the two men worked tireless to get the oxygen levels back to normal, and they were successful.

496806332The two men were due to return to Earth, however there was yet more drama to unfold for the two men. The automatic re-entry system no longer worked. This meant that the men had to fire the re-entry rockets manually. The rockets were designed to separate the landing capsule from the orbital module, but things didn’t work out quite as they planned.

A few seconds after the firing of the engine, we felt a jolt as the orbital module separated from our cabin – but something went wrong. We felt a tugging force pulling us back! I looked out of a window and saw the orbital module was still connected to us by a communications cable. As a result, both modules were spinning rapidly as we fell steeply to Earth!

Fortunately for both Leonov and Belyayev, the heat generated by the re-entry burned through the communications cable, finally separating the landing capsule and orbital module.

The two men landed 2,000 km away from their intended landing zone in the Siberian forest. It took two days for the two men to be found and rescued. The two cosmonauts had to survive in temperatures below zero in a forest that was inhabited by wolves and bears.

Both men survived until they were rescued, however, Belyayev died five years later. He contracted peritonitis after an operation on a stomach ulcer. Leonov was scheduled to be the first cosmonaut to walk on the moon, however the rocket that was to take him there was scrapped after several failed test flights. 118785main_astp_hatch_full.jpg

Leonov’s space career didn’t end with floating in space though, in 1975 he commanded the Soviet Soyuz that docked with the Apollo capsule, an event that marked the end of the space race.

First Time

A movie, due to be released in Russia this year, goes through the events of Leonov’s spacewalk, including the moments that almost ended in disaster.

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

Apollo 15 was the fourth Apollo mission where men landed on the moon. It was a mission set to explore the Hadley-Apennine Region of the moon.



The LRV or Lunar Roving Vehicle was deployed for the first time with the Apollo 15 crew. The LRV allowed the astronauts to explore much further than the Lunar Module had allowed before. It meant that the astronauts could explore tens of kilometres instead of the hundred or so metres that the Lunar Module allowed.

A successful landing

Apollo_15_flag,_rover,_LM,_IrwinApollo 15 was successful and was the first in a series of three advanced missions that were planned for the Apollo program. The shuttle launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:34am EST on 26th July 1971.

The Lunar Module landed on the moon at 22:04pm GMT on 30th July 1971 and the astronauts spent 66 hours, 54 minutes and 53 seconds on the surface of the moon. The astronauts returned to Earth with 76kg of lunar material samples that they collected from the Hadley-Apennine Region which included soil, rock, core-tune and deep core samples.

The Crew




The Apollo 15 was manned by David R. Scott, Commander; Alfred J. Worden, Command Module Pilot and James B.Irwin, Lunar Module Pilot.

Returning to Earth

There was one slight hiccup to the Apollo 15 mission when one of the re-entry capsule parachutes collapsed before splashdown. Despite this, the capsule landed safely on 7th August 1971 at 20:45pm GMT

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.