Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond Kindle Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1439148815
ISBN-10: 1439148813
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An engaging behind-the-scenes memoir, a welcome contribution to the history of space flight." -- John Noble Wilford, The New York Times Book Review

"A blow-by-blow account of heroic teams overcoming adversity...No matter how many times you read the story of the Apollo 11 landing, with computer alarms going off and only seconds of fuel left, it is a heartstopper. Here, Kranz recalls it vividly." -- Alex Roland, The Washington Post

"A rich, behind-the-scenes account of the experts who held the lives of America's first space explorers in their hands." -- Mark Carreau, Houston Chronicle

Amazon.com Review

In 1957, the Russians launched Sputnik and the ensuing space race. Three years later, Gene Kranz left his aircraft testing job to join NASA and champion the American cause. What he found was an embryonic department run by whiz kids (such as himself), sharp engineers and technicians who had to create the Mercury mission rules and procedure from the ground up. As he says, "Since there were no books written on the actual methodology of space flight, we had to write them as we went along."

Kranz was part of the mission control team that, in January 1961, launched a chimpanzee into space and successfully retrieved him, and made Alan Shepard the first American in space in May 1961. Just two months later they launched Gus Grissom for a space orbit, John Glenn orbited Earth three times in February 1962, and in May of 1963 Gordon Cooper completed the final Project Mercury launch with 22 Earth orbits. And through them all, and the many Apollo missions that followed, Gene Kranz was one of the integral inside men--one of those who bore the responsibility for the Apollo 1 tragedy, and the leader of the "tiger team" that saved the Apollo 13 astronauts.

Moviegoers know Gene Kranz through Ed Harris's Oscar-nominated portrayal of him in Apollo 13, but Kranz provides a more detailed insider's perspective in his book Failure Is Not an Option. You see NASA through his eyes, from its primitive days when he first joined up, through the 1993 shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, his last mission control project. His memoir, however, is not high literature. Kranz has many accomplishments and honors to his credit, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but this is his first book, and he's not a polished author. There are, perhaps, more behind-the-scenes details and more paragraphs devoted to what Cape Canaveral looked like than the general public demands. If, however, you have a long-standing fascination with aeronautics, if you watched Apollo 13 and wanted more, Failure Is Not an Option will fill the bill. --Stephanie Gold


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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliantly engaging and detailed account of US manned space flight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Taking man to the moon from the point of view of a central character
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating behind the scenes account
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 6, 2006
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gene Krantz - Failure is not an Option
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into the world of NASA control room
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read not only for space fans
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great and true story !.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Would recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars informative and readable account of the early days of NASA
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
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