The Enemy Stars by Poul Anderson
Enemy Stars By the twenty-third century, Earth’s civilization has risen, fallen and risen again. During that time man expanded to the stars, colonized other worlds, explored further into space. Each new colony planet is put under a 30 year quarantine, and is closely guarded by the Earth’s Protectorate. Star ships travel further into space, exploring deeper. People can travel throughout these far reaches by the means of matter transmittal (like the transporter beams in Star Trek, with further range). When the star ranging ship Southern Cross is diverted to study a burned out star, four humans are sent out to study the phenomenon.
Terangi Maclaren, rich playboy, and David Ryerson, young newlywed, are scientists assigned from Earth. Seiichi Nakamura, zen student, pilot, and Chang Sverdlov, revolutionary, engineer, were assigned from colony planets. This unlikely mix of antagonistic men have to approach and study the dead sun. When an accident wrecks part of the starship and they are stranded without the ability to communicate with or travel back to their homes, they learn to get along. They have to join their goals of exploration and the need to return home.
This novel was originally published in 1958. In the late 70’s, Anderson updated some of the physics without changing the story. Despite that, there are components that today’s scientists say are impossible. They do not detract from the story. It moves well through the “man against space” and “the indominatable spirit” themes.
I found this at a used bookstore. It is currently out of print.