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  What is your favorite spaceflight book? (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   What is your favorite spaceflight book?
ASCAN1984
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posted 03-04-2006 03:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is your favourite spaceflight book?

heng44
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posted 03-04-2006 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"A Man on the Moon" by Andrew Chaikin.

ASCAN1984
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posted 03-04-2006 04:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That gets my vote too. The first spaceflight book I have ever read. So far I have read it four times and I have read chapters more that that. Second place to Dragonfly.

mdmyer
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posted 03-04-2006 04:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree. "Man on the Moon" is the best. I read the single volume copy then I purchased the three volume set and I read it. My plans are to donate my single volume copy to the local library.

Philip
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posted 03-05-2006 03:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any of the NASA SP (Special Publication) books!

1202 Alarm
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posted 03-05-2006 05:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 1202 Alarm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A Man On The Moon... three volume.

It's so brilliant, you can read it again and again with the same pleasure. A real masterpiece.

Matt T
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posted 03-05-2006 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Carrying The Fire" Mike Collins. Still the best Apollo autobiography by a long way; perfectly balanced between narrative and technical detail, insightful, opinionated without serving his own ego and frequently funny.

The historical record of the Apollo program is poorer for Collins missing out on a moonwalk. I'd love to have read about the experience of visiting the lunar surface in the words of such an articulate and thoughtful man.

Plus I just love it when he speaks to Armstrong and Aldrin as "cats" and "baby." Far out man...

DChudwin
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posted 03-05-2006 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It depends on the era:
  • Pre-Apollo: "The Right Stuff" by Tom Wolfe (while it has been criticized, it is still the classic)

  • Early-Apollo: "If the Sun Dies" by Oriana Fallaci (an impressionistic view of the beginning of the Apollo program)

  • Apollo Missions: "Carrying the Fire" by Michael Collins (the best Apollo autobiography)

  • Shuttle Era: "Riding Rockets" by Mike Mullane (Mike lets it all hang out!)

John K. Rochester
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posted 03-05-2006 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another vote for Andrew Chaikin's book. I read about the particular missions almost every year around their anniversaries, just to keep the history fresh.

A close second however is Murray and Cox "Apollo" ...still the best book on what went on in the background of the Apollo Program.

OV-105
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posted 03-05-2006 10:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have three. Mike Collins' "Carrying The Fire," Mike Mullane's "Riding Rockets" and for great photos, Joe Allen's "Entering Space." I have my hardcover first issue autographed.

A.Pelago
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posted 03-06-2006 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for A.Pelago     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with all of the others already mentioned, but must add a couple more:

"The All American Boys" Walt Cunningham: still the most candid astronaut autobiography from the early years.

"Fallen Astronauts" Colin Burgess: a great book on the neglected and too-often- forgotten fallen astronauts and cosmonauts.

"Red Star in Orbit" Jim Oberg: a number of things may have been corrected, clarified or debunked since this was written, but it's still a great read and for most of us remains the first honest glimpse of the space programme behind the Iron Curtain.

Moltke
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posted 03-06-2006 11:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moltke   Click Here to Email Moltke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One stands out from all the others: "Carrying The Fire" Mike Collins

If you haven't read it yet, I guarantee you will want to read it more than once.

ColinBurgess
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posted 03-07-2006 01:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by A.Pelago:
"Fallen Astronauts" Colin Burgess: a great book on the neglected and too-often- forgotten fallen astronauts and cosmonauts.
Many thanks for including "Fallen Astronauts" in such fine company. It's always marvellous and gratifying for an author to know that all the hard work and sacrifice is appreciated by others, especially when it was a very emotional project from the outset.

Jim
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posted 04-24-2006 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim   Click Here to Email Jim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Andy Chaikin's "Man on the Moon" three-volume set followed closely by Gene Kranz "Failure is Not An Option".

tegwilym
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posted 04-24-2006 02:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Carrying the Fire," followed closely by "Man on the Moon."

Mike Mullane's book "Riding Rockets" suddenly jumped way up on my list recently. Excellent book!

canyon42
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posted 04-24-2006 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chalk up another vote for Chaikin's book. I've got both the one-volume and three-volume versions — I read the earlier and save the latter for looking at the photos.

I agree that Collins' book is also outstanding. I just finished Mike Mullane's — very good overall, although there were a few spots where the "irreverence" brought me up a bit short.

paul prendergast
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posted 04-25-2006 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for paul prendergast   Click Here to Email paul prendergast     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have to admit Andrew Chalkin's book, it is like the ultimate reference book and a good read. The book is spot on about all of the missions a wonderful insight to a golden age.

Dwayne Day
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posted 04-25-2006 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwayne Day   Click Here to Email Dwayne Day     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Too many astronaut memoirs.

I vote for Murray and Cox's history of Apollo.

Blackarrow
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posted 04-25-2006 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My favourite spaceflight book? "Apollo Expeditions To The Moon." It helps that my copy is signed by eight Apollo astronauts, including five moonwalkers.

However, I would rate "Carrying the Fire", "A Man on the Moon", "The Right Stuff", "Moonwalker", "The Last Man on the Moon" and "Apollo" very highly (and not necessarily in that order).

And a special mention for "The Golden Book of Astronomy" which is signed "To Geoffrey from Daddy, 9th May, 1961." That book fanned a flame that had been lit on 12th April, brightened further on 5th May and now roars like a furnace.

trajan
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posted 04-27-2006 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trajan   Click Here to Email trajan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I go for joint winners - "A Man on the Moon" and "Riding Rockets."

But, in the spirit of Blackarrow's poignant tribute above, I recommend Patrick Moore's "Story of Astronomy" (autographed by the great man), and a particular treasure, an ex-library book called "Stars Shown to the Children", first published in 1910, where Pluto was unheard of and the origin of "shooting stars" was still uncertain.

Naraht
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posted 04-27-2006 03:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Naraht   Click Here to Email Naraht     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dwayne Day:
I vote for Murray and Cox's history of Apollo.
Agreed! I think that Murray and Cox are sadly underrated by a lot of spaceflight buffs because they eschew the usual myopic focus on the astronauts. "Apollo" is insightful, written with great style, and is one of my favourite history books on any topic.

Having said that, I did like "Carrying the Fire" too, but it's the only astronaut memoir that I have any time for.

FutureAstronaut
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posted 04-29-2006 02:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FutureAstronaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
  • "The Right Stuff"
  • "Lost Moon"
  • "Riding Rockets"

capoetc
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posted 04-29-2006 02:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is interesting that "First Man" has not been mentioned here (unless I missed it).

"Carrying the Fire" is an outstanding memoir, and "A Man on the Moon" is a great read as well.

To throw in something a little different, I like Milt Thompson's "At the Edge of Space" a lot too.

clifford
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posted 05-01-2006 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for clifford   Click Here to Email clifford     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My vote goes to "Carrying the Fire." But also very high on my list would be SP-350 "Apollo Expeditions to the Moon" and from the NASA history series "Before This Decade is Out." These last two have chapters from astronauts, controllers and support folks.

Naraht
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posted 05-02-2006 04:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Naraht   Click Here to Email Naraht     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Before This Decade is Out" is a very good book. If you liked it, you also ought to enjoy Johnson Space Center's comprehensive collection of oral histories, from which many of the chapters in the book were taken.

ApolloAlex
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posted 05-02-2006 05:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ApolloAlex   Click Here to Email ApolloAlex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mine has to be "A Man on the Moon", I even have two copies, one at home in my collection and one at work, where I can pick it up time and time again, when I am not busy I hasten to add.

And also the NASA Mission Reports edited by Robert Godwin have my vote too, very good for reference.

kyra
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posted 05-03-2006 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jenkins "Space Shuttle: The First 100 Missions" is highly recommended.

"Carrying the Fire" and "Riding Rockets" balance the above out with the human factor.

kyra
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posted 05-08-2006 12:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I should also add David Baker's "History of Manned Spaceflight", the 12 pound wonder that has flattened out many crinkled art projects when not in use. I'm not so much into the political history, but this is a first rate reference with few competitors to this day.

Naraht
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posted 05-10-2006 03:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Naraht   Click Here to Email Naraht     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Amazon, Jerry Bostick, who was a Flight Dynamics Officer during the Apollo program, has listed *his* favorite books on spaceflight. I thought that his list might be of interest:
  • "Apollo: The Race To The Moon" by Charles Murray and Catherine Cox
  • "Flight" by Chris Kraft"
  • "Failure Is Not An Option" by Gene Kranz
  • "Carrying The Fire" by Mike Collins
  • "The All-American Boys" by Walt Cunningham

Frederic Janik
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posted 09-19-2010 03:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Frederic Janik   Click Here to Email Frederic Janik     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although "A Man on the Moon" is a fantastic book, my favourite remains "Apollo" by Murray and Bly Cox. Fantastic book about the people who "made it happen".

irish guy
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posted 09-20-2010 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for irish guy   Click Here to Email irish guy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Entering Space by Dr Joe Allen

alanh_7
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posted 09-20-2010 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
  • "Apollo" by Catherine Bly Cox and Charles Murray
  • "A Man on the Moon" Andrew Chaiken
  • 'In the Shadow of the Moon' Francis French and Colin Burgess
Favourite autobiography "Carrying the Fire" Mike Collins.

jasonelam
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posted 09-20-2010 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Entering Space" — I think I checked this book out 10 times from the library!
  • "History of Manned Spaceflight"
  • "Into that Silent Sea"
  • "Fallen Astronauts"
  • "A Man on The Moon"
Honorable Mention: "Flying to the Moon and Other Strange Places" by Mike Collins. The first space book I ever read.

Dwight
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posted 09-21-2010 04:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwight   Click Here to Email Dwight     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Without a doubt mine is "Live TV From the Moon."

heng44
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posted 09-21-2010 07:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"The History of Manned Spaceflight" by David Baker, immediately followed by "A Man on the Moon".

Gilbert
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posted 09-21-2010 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like "We Seven" and "First on the Moon" for the nostalgia the books evoke when reading them so many years after the events they describe took place.

onesmallstep
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posted 09-24-2010 06:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since I began my interest in the space program in the '60's as a young boy (hint on my old age...), I would have to choose three books by Gene Gurney, all in the Landmark series:
  • 'Americans in Orbit' (Mercury)
  • 'Walk in Space' (Gemini)
  • 'Americans on the Moon' (Apollo)
...plus any illustrated space-themed books authored by C.B Colby. For me, they will always be 'classics', introducing a young mind to the wonders of spaceflight.

robsouth
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posted 09-24-2010 06:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not saying these are the best books but before the explosion of words and pictures available on the internet I read and re-read:
  • "Manned Spaceflight Log" by Tim Furniss
  • "All We Did Was Fly To The Moon" by Richard Lattimer
  • "Deke" by Slayton and Cassutt
  • "LIFE in Space" by LIFE Magazine
  • "One Small Step" by Tim Furniss
Two other books well worth mentioning are:
  • "Exploring The Moon" by David Harland
  • "Tracking Apollo To The Moon" by Hamish Lindsay
The best book, in my opinion, is "A Man On The Moon" by Andrew Chaikin.

GoesTo11
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posted 09-24-2010 09:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by robsouth:
I read and re-read...
Wow... That's like you stole a peek at my bookshelf in the mid-'80s! Here are my own favorites:
  • "The Right Stuff," Tom Wolfe

    Absolutely magical. So brilliant on so many levels: As history, as journalism, as social commentary, as purely iconic prose. This is one of the handful of books that I still periodically pull off my shelf and read my favorite passages from just for pleasure... I even know the page numbers.

  • "A Man on the Moon," Andrew Chaikin, and "Apollo," Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox

    The two essential books one has to read to begin to understand Apollo. As I posted on another thread, I refuse to commend one over the other... they complement each other perfectly, and both are indispensable.

  • "Carrying the Fire," Michael Collins

    Still the best astronaut-penned memoir.

  • "Riding Rockets," Mike Mullane

    The second best. Though as a child of the Shuttle era, I freely admit I may be biased.

  • "The History of Manned Space Flight," David Baker

    Both a huge, beautiful production AND an authoritative reference. How often do we see that?

  • "Moonfire," Norman Mailer

    The best true coffee-table book out there. Epic prose, fantastic illustration, state-of-the-art production.

  • "Apollo 13" ("Lost Moon"), Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger

    Constructed like a suspense novel; shifts seamlessly between viewpoints. We know they're going to make it, but the tension still never lets up. That's a story well told.

No one does a Top 8 list, but after that it just gets murky for me, and "favorites" become delineated by subject, such as unmanned/planetary exploration, historical studies, NASA publications, art books, etc. So that's my "desert island" list.

Dietrich
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posted 09-25-2010 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dietrich     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would definitely include "Truth, Lies, and O-Rings" by Allan McDonald into the list of favorite spaceflight books.


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