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Return to Earth Hardcover – 1973


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394488326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394488325
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Among all of the Apollo astronauts, where unusual personalities abound, Buzz Aldrin may be the most singularly unusual. He was also one of the most important. Selected in the third group of NASA astronauts in 1963, Aldrin was unique because of his Ph.D. in astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He had written his dissertation on orbital rendezvous and he applied this knowledge to solving one of the principal riddles of the space program, how to accomplish rendezvous and docking of two spacecraft in Earth orbit. Acquiring the nickname "Dr. Rendezvous" from his fellow astronauts, during Project Gemini Aldrin became one of the key figures working on the problem of spacecraft rendezvous in Earth or lunar orbit and docking them together for space flight. Without solutions to such problems Apollo could not have been successfully completed. Aldrin got a chance to fly on Gemini XII during November 11-15, 1966, and demonstrated the success of his rendezvous and docking work for all to see; he manually recomputed all the rendezvous maneuvers after the on-board radar failed

Despite that critical work, Aldrin is mostly remembered for becoming the second man on the Moon, after Neil Armstrong, on the Apollo 11 mission. On July 20, 1969, he and Armstrong spent about 20 hours on the lunar surface. This mission made Aldrin, along with Armstrong and the third astronaut on the mission, Michael Collins, world figures. Aldrin chronicled in "Return to Earth" the flight of Apollo 11 and in many ways it was a courageous book. Aldrin had a delicate psyche. He was an intellectual who had a personal bent toward philosophy, reflectiveness, and sensitivity. Pushed to the brink by his overbearing father, Aldrin sought approval by overachieving.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. SMITH on September 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What happens after fame and success, when you no longer have control of your life? Buzz Aldrin by hard work, natural abilities, and good fortune; was in July 1969 one of only two people who had walked on the moon. This is the story of Buzz Aldrin, half of the book tells of his life from childhood until Apollo 13. The rest is what becoming famous did to him and his family. Return to Earth is most remarkable in the honesty with which it tells his story. This book is not a NASA press release, this is the rise, fall, and recovery of Buzz. This is the story on a grand scale of the everyone who has had their fifteen minutes of fame, and then has to ask now what?
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Reade on August 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Although this book was written by Buzz Aldrin it is not about Apollo 11 or even about space flight. It is about Buzz's battle with crippling depression and mental illness. Aldrin should be commended for his honesty and candor. This book will go a long way toward reliving the guilt of those who have suffered from depression.
Unfortunately Buzz comes off as much too self-involved for us to care much for him. After returning from the moon he dutifully asks his young son how he is doing in school only to have the child respond, "Daddy, it's summer vacation!" Oh yeah!
However over the last twenty five years Buzz's development as a writer - and I suspect as a human - has been spectacular. Read his fabulous book MEN FROM EARTH or his equally stellar ENCOUNTER WITH TIBER. You will not be disappointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alastair Browne on October 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
I first came across this book in a drugstore back in 1975, was surprised at the content. I am a space advocate, and I attend conferences on space exploration and development, and I have had the privilege of meeting Dr. Aldrin, many times. Today, he advocates going to Mars, and he gives lectures on this topic at these conferences all over the country. He is doing very well today advancing the cause of space exploration, being the second man on the first Apollo Moon mission, after Neil Armstrong.
This book is sort of an autobiography of him, from his early childhood, to shortly after the final Apollo (17) mission to the Moon. The path he chose was challenging for him, and he had his share of problems, which is what this book is really about. This book is not about the Apollo program, but one man's life in the program, covering both his successes and failures, and how he overcame them.
Dr. Edwin Aldrin, now formally Buzz, lived a challenging life. His father expected much of him, and from his high school days on, he measured up, but his father was never satisfied. In high school, Buzz received all A's, and afterwards, attended West Point, a very demanding military school, where he majored in Mechanical Engineering. In the Air Force, he was a fighter pilot in the Korean War, and then went to MIT where he received a doctorate in Engineering. He married and had three children, and decided in 1963 that he wanted to be an astronaut. The first two attempts he failed, but made it on the third try, and it paid off, both for him and the space program. When the problem of docking in space arose, Dr. Aldrin was able to figure out, by physics, engineering, and math, how it could be done, with Gemini docking with Agena and later, Apollo and the Lunar Module. Dr.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Baker on July 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A very candid, deep book!! Buzz tells us all kinds of things about himself, his time in the space program, many very personal thoughts and experiences. I can say im a big fan of Buzz after reading this book!! One of my fave books ive read this summer!
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