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Apollo EECOM: Journey of a Lifetime: Apogee Books Space Series 31 Hardcover – April 1, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"harrowing, touching, and inspiring - his story gives new meaning to the phrase, 'Failure Is Not An Option.'" -- Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon

"part of some of the greatest - and most nerve-wraking - moments in history. He puts you in the room." -- Michael Lennick, Producer, Discovery Channel

"takes us through his troubled past to earning his wings as a key player in our journeys to the Moon." -- Jim Lovell, Commader, Apollo 13

About the Author

Sy Liebergot is a senior project engineer of the astronaut neutral buoyancy trainers for the International Space Station, and an ISS senior configuration management analyst for Bastion technologies. He was the lead EECOM flight controller for Apollo missions 12–15 and a key decision maker when Apollo 13's oxygen tank exploded. He has advised and contributed to several books concerning Apollo 13 including the major motion picture, Apollo 13.

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Product Details

  • Series: Apogee Books Space Series
  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Collector's Guide Publishing Inc; Har/Cdr edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1896522963
  • ISBN-13: 978-1896522968
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,665,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book isn't one of those thick, literary historical tomes that we have seen a good many of in the last few years from former NASA managers. Rather, this feels like you have been personally invited into Sy's living room to sit on the sofa and look over his memorabilia while he tells you about it over your shoulder. It's a surprisingly frank and honest look at his life. Rather than trying to build himself up to be an historical figure, he pulls no punches with an account of a difficult, scrappy early life where he had to learn to survive his family, then work out how to leave and make something of himself. He tells this compelling story so well that I would have read it even if he had not gone on to join NASA - something I also felt when reading Scott Carpenter's account of his difficult upbringing in his recent memoir. When Liebergot moves on to his years at NASA, we get a refreshingly different account of how things worked there. Most other books on this era have been written by those in the upper echelons of management, but Liebergot here shows us what it was like for the footsoldier in the trenches, with a few little accounts of tempers lost in mission control and other disagreements that the official histories try and gloss over. Rather than do this as a tell-all, Liebergot includes his own failings in the mix - he doesn't hide the fact that he is now on his third marriage, nor the reasons. Liebergot was there for some of NASA's finest undertakings, and this book tells you what it was like from a human perspective - the weariness, the shortcomings, the oversights - that round out the picture very well.
In short, this is not a polished history of NASA at its finest hour. Rather it is a very loose, informal journey through one man's difficult life, and how he managed to wash up in the right place at the right time.
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Format: Hardcover
My first thought after having finished reading the book was how sorry I was that it was over. Every night I would look forward coming home to read portions of the book and I did not want it to be over.
Sy kept the reader interested throughout the book by his fluid style, changing the chronology, inter dispersing related pictures to the topic at hand and above all by the story of his incredible life. He tells a story of how in spite of a traumatic and difficult childhood, it is possible to rise above it and become a valuable and contributing member of the society. This should be a required reading for all high school kids as it inspires and teaches accountability and tenacity in face of adversity while at the same time it teaches us about part of our history in America.
After listening to the CD, what I found amazing was how cool and in control Sy sounded while trying to save the lives of the astronauts and bringing them safely back to earth.
Even though Sy has every right to take credit for helping with the safe return of Apollo 13, he is not using this book as a self-promoting vehicle rather; he is portraying an honest picture of what happened while giving credit to the team as well as the individuals comprising that team and how they contributed to the success of our space program.
Although I have known Sy for many years, he did not share the Apollo 13 story with me until many years later and now after reading this book, I realize how humble he has been all these years and how he is entitled to brag about all the accomplishments in his life. I have always thought of Sy as a renaissance man - he has in-depth knowledge of many subjects and when he sets out to learn something, he becomes a master at it - this book certainly proved what I have known all along.
I have always been proud of Sy and now after reading his book, Apollo EECOM - Journey of a Lifetime, I feel lucky to have been his friend for all these years.
June 20, 2003
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Format: Hardcover
It's a general public misconception that the men and women of NASA's mission control are of a super-human lineage, intelligent to a fault and void of the emotions and problems associated with us lowly work-a-day folks. In his book "Apollo EECOM" Sy Liebergot takes us on an unforgettable journey through his life that dispels this common myth and reveals to the reader the purest human side of a man. Sy Liebergot rose above the troubles of his early life and through hard work, determination, and the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time, allowed him to become intimately involved in the most daring of human endeavors, placing mankind's footprint's on another world. Step inside this seldom seen world known as mission operations and see for yourself how one man overcame almost unbearable obstacles and how his determination and dreams helped make the impossible, possible.
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Format: Hardcover
Sy hits on all points of the Mission Control environment. In his experiences he talks about the hard work and many instances of multitasking. A good flight controller has that burden of listening to 6 or more conversations on the flashing flight comm loops to get the big picture. The job also requires being schooled in memorizing interface control documents, schematics, flight rules and operational procedures. At any given minute you may have to dissect a procedure and reassemble it in the fly and get it right the first time.
The simulations shake you up, they leave you humbled and weak in the knees and in many cases you can be caught short if not prepared, Sy captures this an more in the Apollo missions and Skylab. His skills and resources are many and it leaves the readers with the feeling that the Apollo Astronauts were indeed riding on the shoulders of giants. They work hard and play hard, the behind the scenes looks at the post flight debriefs at the Singing Wheel were well documented with pictures where these guys in the dark rimmed glasses unwound. The indeed drank the wine and beer as fast as it was served. The families were tested there were many that were torn apart as the ultimate sacrifice for the missions to the moon, Sy captures it all in his book and CD ROM. This is a great story of the men and women behind the scenes in the trenches of the historic moon missions, an effort that may never be duplicated. It is an inspiration to the young readers out there who want to become part of this magnificent team.
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