The head of Space Camp (Buckbee) and a distinguished retired astronaut and raconteur tell the story of the American space program, through the moon landings. Originally conceived as a tribute to mutual friend Alan Shepard, the first American to orbit the earth, the book ends up providing capsule biographies of all of the Mercury Seven, the additional astronauts who landed on the moon, astronauts who didn't return safely, and nonastronauts who were key figures in getting into space, such as John F. Kennedy and Wernher von Braun. Buckbee and Schirra maintain a sense of proportion, and also of humor, about the perils, promises, frustrations, and failures of those days. They remind us that the Apollo pad fire that killed Gus Grissom and his crew nearly produced the degree of panic that the more recent shuttle crashes have--and that the space program keeps going. Schirra gets and takes the last chance to flavor the book by drawing on his matchless collection of anecdotes. Roland GreenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Ed Buckbee is a former director of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and a NASA public affairs officer who worked with the astronauts of the early Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. He works as an advisor and consultant for NASA and is a sought-after spokesman and advocate for the continued exploration of space. He lives in Huntsville, Alabama. Wally Schirra is the only Mercury astronaut who flew in all three of the nation's pioneering space programs: Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. During the Apollo moon landing missions he was an on-air colleague of CBS-TV's Walter Cronkite. He was also instrumental in starting the Space Camp program in Huntsville, Alabama, in the early 1980's.