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Author Topic:   Carpenter
Fra Mauro
Member

Posts: 1015
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 06-26-2003 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just finished "Spacious Skies," by Scott
Carpenter & his daughter. Did anybody else read it and want to share a reaction?

Jake
Member

Posts: 451
From: Issaquah, WA U.S.A.
Registered: Jun 2002

posted 06-26-2003 05:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jake   Click Here to Email Jake     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You mean we are supposed to READ a book we buy and get signed by an astronaut...?!?!?!

------------------
Jake Schultz - curator,
Newport Way Air Museum (OK, it's just my home)

eurospace
Member

Posts: 2275
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 06-27-2003 07:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fra Mauro:
I just finished "Spacious Skies," by Scott
Carpenter & his daughter. Did anybody else read it and want to share a reaction?

Finished mine about three weeks ago.

One of the better astronaut books, I think. The gruelsome family situation is more modern than most astronaut childhood stories I have read. His accounts of the situation in the astronaut office and with Chris Kraft add detail and another point of view to the existing accounts. His detailed report about his Mercury flight makes his experience come to live - you share every second of the mission, it seems. Better even, the collaboration of his daughter made the book a well researched report of almost scientific value, much better stuff than some other biopics that seem to be written by "now I tell you all the anecdotes and you write them down" rule.


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Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

Fra Mauro
Member

Posts: 1015
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 06-27-2003 07:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I always buy astronaut biographies and while this book had its good moments, I was a little disappointed. It seems more like a book for his family to read. Too much time on
little family details, not enough on aviation. The Carpenters spend too much time crticizing Chris Kraft. I would have like to have known why he turned down a Gemini mission. Did he have a choice? The best part of the book is when he directly speaks about
Aurora 7. The book needed more of his direct imput. He should have spend a little more than pages on the last 30 years of his life.
I think it is better than Cooper's book.

bruce
Member

Posts: 830
From: Fort Mill, SC, USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 06-27-2003 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regarding Fra Mauro's statement about Scott's book spending too much time criticizing Chris Kraft, I would offer this. Mr. Kraft spent an entire chapter ("The Man Malfunctioned") criticizing Scott personally and not once mentioning Aurora 7's faulty horizon pitch scanner, which plagued him throughout the entire flight. True to his character, Scott has just sucked up any over-shoot criticism for the past 40 years. I'm glad he finally wrote about it.

Further, I know people who worked at JSC during Mercury and Gemini who were asked to proof-read Kraft's book prior to publication. They did so and made corrections and suggestions to many of Kraft's "memories". None of them (zero) were ever taken into consideration. I will not name names, but one very well known Mission Control person was amazed at the book's "agenda". While I certainly do appreciate Mr. Kraft's many significant contributions to the space program, I do not know him personally so I will not write here what others have said to me about certain resemblances to Chris Kraft and that of a donkey.

As for Scott "turning down" a Gemini mission, it was never in the cards. When Chris Kraft had a grudge against someone in those days, their fates were sealed.

I spent about 2 hours talking one on one with Chris Kraft after his book came out. He seemed somewhat uptight, defensive and even made emphatic statements that contradicted known facts about the Mercury control systems. On the other hand, you will never meet a nicer, more friendly guy than Scott Carpenter.

Best Regards,
Bruce

OPOS
New Member

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posted 07-02-2003 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OPOS   Click Here to Email OPOS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your insight Bruce. While I have never had private conversations with persons who would know Krafts motives first hand, I think back to a response he gave me to a question I asked him once. I asked why space to ground audio still sounded terrible (most of our audio today comes from space anyway- why not make astronauts sound good?)His reply was "why would they want to?" I think that captures the essence of the diffences between Kraft and Carpenter.

Tom Edmonds

chet
Member

Posts: 1246
From: Beverly Hills, Calif.
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 07-02-2003 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps we should get a graphologist to study Kraft's signature; this may tell us more. And if there's a twofer rate, Carpenter's as well.

-Chet

Fra Mauro
Member

Posts: 1015
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 07-03-2003 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I met Carpenter also and he seems to be a genuine person. I think the most balanced account of his flight comes from Eugene Kranz
book, where he states both the problems of the ground and the astronaut during Aurora 7.

eurospace
Member

Posts: 2275
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 07-04-2003 02:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
Perhaps we should get a graphologist to study Kraft's signature; this may tell us more. And if there's a twofer rate, Carpenter's as well.

-Chet


I seem to remember from Kraft's book that his hand suffered an injury during childhood.

In that case, a graphological analysis would probably yield no results other than stating that his handwritng is strongly influenced by this injury.

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Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

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