In his New York Times bestseller, Chris Kraft delivers an unforgettable account of his life in Mission Control. The first NASA flight director, Kraft emerged from boyhood in small-town America to become a visionary who played an integral role in what would become the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It's all here, from the legendary Mercury missions that first sent Americans into space through the Gemini and Apollo missions that landed them on the moon. The great heroes of space are here, too-Alan Shepard, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and Buzz Aldrin-leading the space race that would change the course of U.S. history.
From NASA's infancy to its greatest triumphs . . . from the calculated gambles to the near disasters to the pure luck that accompanied each mission, Flight relives the spellbinding events that captured the imagination of the world. It is a stirring tribute to the U.S. space program and to the men who risked their lives to take America on a flight into the unknown-from the man who was there for it all.
"A highly readable memoir." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A rewarding look at the brief, shining moment when space pathfinders held sway over space warriors." (The Washington Post)
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On July 20, 1969, near the end of a great decade of near-space exploration, a small craft called Eagle landed on the moon's surface. As anyone who watched the televised broadcast of the landing might recall, the astronauts aboard Eagle were guided to their objective by a capable ground crew headed by Chris Kraft, whom his colleagues had long called "Flight." Kraft was unflappable on the surface, but, as he writes in this memoir, the Eagle's landing had moments of drama that gave him pause, and that few outside NASA knew about--including baleful alarms from the ship's on-board computer that warned of imminent disaster.
For Kraft, frightening moments were part of his job as director of Mission Control. He encountered many of them in the early years of the space program, when failures were commonplace and all too often caused not by mechanics but by politics. We learn of many in Kraft's pages. One such failure was the Soviet Union's Sputnik launch, about which Kraft thunders, "We should have beaten them.... We were stopped by anonymous doctors in the civilian world who didn't know what they were talking about, by a bureaucrat in the White House who'd been stung when JFK shot down his position on manned space flight, and by our friend the German rocket scientist, who got cold feet when he should have been bold."
Plenty of other contemporaries, including John Glenn and Richard Nixon, come in for a scolding in Kraft's fiery account, which offers a rare insider's portrait of the challenging work of astronautics--work that, Kraft writes hopefully, is only beginning. --Gregory McNameeAbout the Author:
After graduating from Virginia Polytechnic Institute with a BS in Aeronautical Engineering, Chris Kraft went on to become the director of the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas from 1972 to 1982. Since his retirement from federal service, Chris Kraft has served as an aerospace consultant to Rockwell International, IBM, and a number of other companies.
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Descripción Plume, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0452283043
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Descripción Plume, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110452283043