This is one of the most depressing space operas I have read. A near-future novel written in 1997, it depicts an early-21st century NASA fallen into disrespect and disrepair. Although a mission to Titan would be a really cool endeavor, I actually prefer the real NASA of the 21st century this.
It is said the best way to write fiction is to give your characters obstacles and set-backs. But there’s a line between that and constantly dumping crap upon crap upon crap on them. A little more “gee, whiz” and a little less “oh, crap” would make for a better story.
Also… if it could be done in less pages than this slogs on through, that makes for a tighter tale.