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  Rocketman: Pete Conrad's Incredible Ride to the Moon and Beyond (Conrad, Klausner) (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Rocketman: Pete Conrad's Incredible Ride to the Moon and Beyond (Conrad, Klausner)
FFrench
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posted 05-23-2005 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some photos from the Fleet Center's talk and signing:

STEVE SMITH
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posted 06-09-2005 07:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for STEVE SMITH   Click Here to Email STEVE SMITH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was pleasantly surprised to see the embossing in the book as I had thought this was an in-person thing. As others as discussed, this was a desirable item, and I'd very much like to thank Mrs. Conrad and the others who perhaps helped this to happen.

Mrs. Conrad, I hope you're reading this as I want to thank you for the gracious way you've been handling this. Loving the Ride - an excellent book so far.

Hope you can make it to Kansas Cosmopshere some time so I can meet you.

FFrench
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posted 06-13-2005 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, Nancy intended to only emboss books for the in-person signings that day, however 20-30 of the Internet orders were inadvertently embossed too before Nancy realized. When she realized this, she said "Well, some people are going to have a pleasant surprise!"

I am glad to hear that you are one of the lucky ones, Steve - it goes to show, you never know what extras might come at our signings (for example, we've had other astronauts turn up for signings in the past to see their old cohorts). Sorry it wasn't possible for every internet order.

dss65
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posted 06-13-2005 09:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ordered one the other day; couldn't pass it up. I'm really looking forward to getting this baby.

Henry Heatherbank
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posted 06-14-2005 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just finished reading Rocketman, and I had to say I am very disppointed. I was wondering what other people thought about it?

Obviously the emphasis on the book is weighted toward more recent events (because the book is co-written by Conrad's second wife) but to gloss over important events like Gemini V in roughly a page and a half is simply ridiculous in my view.

There is absolutely no comparison to gems like Carrying the Fire and For Spacious Skies (well done, KC) and rubbish like Rocketman. I rate this about as bad as We Have Capture by Stafford.

ejectr
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posted 06-14-2005 06:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yikes! I'm on page 20 and just put it down to read this.

hinkler
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posted 06-15-2005 02:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hinkler   Click Here to Email hinkler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I really enjoyed Rocketman. Yes it is a different book to Carrying the Fire but remember that it was not written by Pete Conrad but by his wife after his death. It is a book that belongs in the library of anyone interested in space exploration.

Congratulations to Nancy Conrad on a job well done. She certainly brings Pete Conrad to life for those of us who did not know him personally.

Henry Heatherbank
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posted 06-15-2005 07:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, the point you make about this being a biography, not an autobiography is very well made. But even so, the cursory coverage of key events in Conrad's life is simply inexcusable. It is like writing a book about Hillary and glossing over Everest.

I will concede this - the coverage of Conrad's life in the commercial world post-NASA was interesting, simply because that was freshly trodden ground, but again, that's like focusing on how Hillary lived out the rest of his life in New Zealand!

quote:
Originally posted by ejectr:
Yikes! I'm on page 20 and just put it down to read this.
I'd be very interested in your views beyond page 20, so please uplink later. Count the words used to cover GT-V. It will take you far less time to read than it took Conrad to get to orbit on that mission.

Richard
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posted 06-15-2005 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard   Click Here to Email Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't read it yet, but isn't the book supposed to be more about Conrad's life from his wife's perspective? By the way, is there some information about Gemini V that you don't already know? Probably not, so why rehash all of it - that would just make the book like all of the rest.

quantumleap
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posted 06-15-2005 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for quantumleap     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too have just finished reading Rocketman. It was not what I expected compared to the many other astronaut autobiographies/biographies I've read with little real details on his missions. Saying that, I thoroughly enjoyed it and am very glad I purchased it.

To me what the book really was more something which captured the life, personality and personal values of Pete Conrad. It made me in some ways feel I had got to know him through it. Other books by/on astronauts in the pre-Shuttle era don't necessarily leave you with that feeling. Yes, you may understand what their missions and the environment of NASA was during their time from their books, but you don't get a good impression of their real character. His wife Nancy and her co-writer made him come back to life in this book not as a mere transcription of his career and missions, but as a real person.

This book is therefore different, but is not inferior because of it. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

KSCartist
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posted 06-15-2005 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Henry, I understand your feelings because I also found it to be a "fast read". But I am not disappointed. I remember seeing Pete Conrad interviewed for a PBS series called (I think) "Spaceflight" around 1985. When I read the book it reminded me of the way he spoke in the interview. Of course I would have preferred to sit around drinking some beers and listening to him tell the stories.

As I understand Nancy wrote the book based on extensive notes Pete left because she had been after him for some time to write his autobiography. I look at it this way, reading this along with the other books like "Moon Shot", "Carrying the Fire", "A Man on the Moon", etc adds another layer to what we know of as the Apollo Program story. I'm glad to have in in my library. (By the way, I'm reading "We Have Capture" now).

ejectr
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posted 06-17-2005 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just finished "Rocketman" and I must say that I believe I know Pete Conrad better than I did before I read it. I felt as though he was sitting right over there on my sofa waiting for my response during the entire read.

I already knew just about all there was to know about his Gemini flights because I'm a space fanatic, so I didn't miss the chapter on that, but I didn't know Pete Conrad the man, and I feel I now know him better and I kind of like that.

My favorite paragraph in the whole book was at the end of chapter 34:

All those people, all those hours and days and years and sweat, all their hopes and fears... just to put him inside that cone, and let him take the ride for them, then come back and tell them about it. Yeah... he felt tiny. And damn lucky.
This is a guy who "gets it"... he would have signed for free forever.

Thanks Nancy for allowing me into your heart through these 275 pages of pouring it out.

spaceheaded
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posted 06-22-2005 09:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceheaded     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just finished the book; enjoyed it. Though you know what's coming in the end, it's still sad.

And it reminded me of where I was when I heard Pete died. My wife and I were vacationing in Florida, staying at the Holiday Inn in Titusville. There was a Delta 2 launch scheduled for about 4 a.m. and we were sitting in our van in the hotel parking lot, looking out across the Indian River toward the launch sites. We had the radio on, and the news came... pretty ironic, I thought.

Later that day as we rode the tour bus at KSC, the driver announced: "The reason why our flags are at half-staff today is because Pete Conrad died. He was the *10th* man to walk on the moon." I forgave the error. Well, at least until the ride was over.

dss65
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posted 06-22-2005 09:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just finished reading my new copy of "Rocketman" and wanted to add my impressions to those already here. I remember some things about Pete Conrad from TV, newpapers, magazines, etc. back in his days of Gemini and Apollo. (I suppose for some reason his American Express commercial really stands out in my mind.) However, my deepest interest in him is much more recent. I became fascinated with him when watching the episode about Apollo 12 in "From the Earth to the Moon" and even more so when reading "A Man on the Moon." Since then, he has popped up in my readings in so many places--and he is always portrayed as a man that was as fun to be around as he was talented. Another thing that struck me was how incredibly successful all of his missions were. I found myself wanting to know more and more about this sometimes-irreverent, sometimes-insubordinate, amazingly competent man. I've had the chance to discuss him with the likes of Paul Weitz and Dee O'Hara, and heard Al Bean and Dick Gordon describe how much fun the crew had on the Apollo 12 mission.

While I agree that the book could have contained more detail about Conrad's missions, I can't say how much I enjoyed the book and felt that it helped me "know" in a certain sense the astronaut that I most would have liked to meet.

I know a lot of other enthusiasts out there hold Pete Conrad in as high esteem as I do, and I'm sure they don't need my endorsement of this book to convince them to pick one up. But, if you're on the fence on it, I think you're going to find this book very much worth your while. I loved it. And I thank the authors for going to a huge effort to bring Pete Conrad to us.

divemaster
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posted 06-23-2005 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found it "entertaining".

spaceman48263
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posted 07-05-2005 02:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman48263   Click Here to Email spaceman48263     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just finished the book (loved it) and had a few comments and questions for the group.

Can you just picture Pete as the Virgin Mary? Would love to see that picture.

On page 178 it states "They were absolutely filthy. NASA would never release these photos..." Did they ever release these 'pig pen pics"?

On page 192 they write about all the docking problems they had when they arrived at Skylab. What was the problem? Anyplace to get the transcripts from this portion of the mission? I would love to hear Pete let it rip! I think other Skylab missions also had docking problems. I thought I read that the ASTM mission also had docking issues. Any comments?

Rob Sumowski
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posted 07-11-2005 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Sumowski   Click Here to Email Rob Sumowski     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am 80 pages into Rocketman and I love it. This book gives us a picture of an astronaut beyond what we already know. It brings Pete to life.

Sure, I guess I'd like to read a bit more about his space adventures, but then again, look at the writer. Nancy wasn't involved in Pete's life during that period, so she probably doesn't have as many human details about Pete during his NASA career as she does of his life outside of his career. How much new could she really have added to the well-documented Apollo side of Pete's life?

Instead, I'm seeing a side of Pete I never would have seen if not for this book. The anecdotes of this fellow's daily life pre- and post-NASA are just as hilarious as those common Apollo-Pete anecdotes that have been told time and again.

In this way, this biography is probably more revealing of the human being behind the astronaut than most of the other books I've read on astronauts. We just don't tend to learn the human being-first side of the stories in the standard career-related astronaut autobiographies out there.

I am learning that there was infinitely more to this man than Apollo. I think Pete would be really proud of the job Nancy has done.

MCroft04
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posted 07-11-2005 06:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just wanted to post my approval of the "Rocketman" book. The intent of the book was to help the reader get to know Pete Conrad, and therefore it was 100% successful. If you want more info on the Gemini and Apollo missions, there are a plethora of books available that will accomplish this objective. And the book was wonderfully written! I never had the opportunity to meet Pete, but I have a print of Alan Bean's "The Fantasy", which is a picture of Pete, Alan, and Dick on the moon, and includes signatures from all 3 Apollo 12 crew members. By the way, if you don't have at least one copy of Alan Bean's art in your home, you are missing a true wonder. Often I just call a time out and look at the art of Astronaut Bean. It's wonderful!

Ginger Bryan
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posted 08-22-2005 10:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ginger Bryan   Click Here to Email Ginger Bryan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Rocketman was about Pete Conrad - it was a delightful read, a true picture, and it brought him back to life.

Peter S
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posted 03-31-2006 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter S   Click Here to Email Peter S     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was browsing around and noticed that "Rocketman" is coming out in trade paperback. I haven't read this... is it a good one? Pete Conrad seemed like an interesting guy. Any input?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Gilbert
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posted 03-31-2006 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it is a decent book, well worth reading.

MCroft04
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posted 03-31-2006 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Buy it and read. It's worth the money and time.

spaceman1953
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posted 08-06-2009 09:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So I finally am getting through a copy of Rocketman, a first printing... page 154:
Especially after the roll NASA had been on since Al Shepard left the pad in Friendship 7 back in 1961.
Was this corrected in subsequent printings?

neke
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posted 08-06-2009 09:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for neke   Click Here to Email neke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apparently so -- my copy says "Freedom 7".

spaceman1953
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posted 08-17-2009 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So I hope these books get "better". I have cried after reading "First Man" and I now have cried after reading "Rocketman".

I don't remember crying after finishing "Carrying the Fire" many years ago, not sure if the Scott Carpenter/Kris Stoever book moved me to tears or not... think I was still stuck on the genealogy stuff in the first few chapters.

But, boy oh boy, Mrs. Conrad really stuck it to me at the end of "Rocketman" and her notes and her co-writers notes at the end did not make it any easier!

4allmankind
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posted 05-11-2013 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Might anyone have a photo of what Nancy Conrad's signature looks like? I have this book with a name written on the title page but I can't make it out and it looks more like the co-author's name, rather than Ms. Conrad. Thanks!

Jurg Bolli
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posted 05-11-2013 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jay, I don't have a photo, but "Nancy" is clearly legible, but "Conrad" is just a C and a line to the right..

4allmankind
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posted 05-11-2013 08:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Jurg, I'm almost certain now that the signature is that of the co-author. Thanks!


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