by Ben Mezrich

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Review

Although this book was difficult for me to get into, it was certainly a unique, interesting story to read. It was written by Ben Mezrich, who also wrote The Accidental Billionaires, the book on which the film The Social Network is based.  Thad Roberts left behind a Morman upbringing and devoted all his time over the course of a few years to getting the experiences and degree he would need to work at the Johnson Space Center.  He was able to gain a spot in the student program there, and had a goal to become the first astronaut to walk on Mars.  An outgoing man, he organized student trips to go camping and skydiving, among other activities, and made a name for himself at the JSC.  

All of that changed because of a girl.  The idea that some lunar materials were considered "trash" bothered Thad, and he decided that it could be possible, and not necessarily immoral, to steal some samples and sell them.  By looking at hundreds of pages of court documents, as well as talking to Thad Roberts himself, Mezrich relates a narrative as closely recounting the events of the true story as possible.  The book is interesting for its look into what it is like working at the Johnson Space Center, and Thad's story is adventurous and charming.  It is hard to believe that it all really happened.

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