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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Books


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Author: Martin Caidin
Publisher: Bantam Books, 1969
Corgi Books, 1965
Bantam Books, 1965
Dutton, 1964
Hodder & Stoughton, 1964

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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Science-Fiction
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Film & Television Adaptations



Columbia Pictures

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Marooned is a 1964 science fiction thriller novel by Martin Caidin, about a manned spacecraft which becomes stranded in Earth orbit, oxygen running out, and only an experimental craft available to attempt a rescue. The film based on the novel was released in 1969, four months after the Apollo 11 mission.

The first edition of the novel Marooned involved a single astronaut stranded in orbit in a Mercury spacecraft, a rescue mission launched using the then-experimental Gemini spacecraft, and a Soviet Vostok also becoming involved in the mission.

The 1969 re-release of the novel, which coincided with the film, was extensively rewritten to reflect the advancements in the U.S. space program. The plot featured three U.S. astronauts stranded in an Apollo spacecraft after separation from an Apollo Applications Program space station very similar to the later Skylab program missions flown in 1973-74.

The rescue mission in the 1969 edition was flown with a Titan III-C rocket carrying an experimental X-RV lifting body spacecraft, which was never actually flown in space. In this edition, the Soviet involvement in the rescue mission was portrayed as using a Soyuz spacecraft. Caidin chose "Soyuz 11" as the designation of the rescue flight. In 1971, Soyuz 11 mission ended in tragedy when all three cosmonauts perished during re-entry while returning from Salyut 1, the first manned space station.

In the original edition, the Mercury astronaut is Dick Pruett, and the pilot of the rescue mission is Jim Dougherty. In the 1969 version, the names are changed to Jim Pruett and Ted Dougherty, with Clayton "Stoney" Stone and "Buzz" Lloyd added to make up the three-man Apollo crew.


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