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  Falling to Earth: An Apollo 15 Astronaut's Journey to the Moon (Worden, French) (Page 3)

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Author Topic:   Falling to Earth: An Apollo 15 Astronaut's Journey to the Moon (Worden, French)
Tykeanaut
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From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 08-18-2011 02:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just ordered my signed copy from Boggs Spacebooks. I'm sure you are all aware of them? But if not the site is well worth a visit.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
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posted 08-19-2011 08:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
By the way, for anyone who might not want a signed copy and you have a Borders book store closing in your area, copies of the book were shipped to Borders warehouses before the liquidation sale started. There were three copies that popped up at my local store which were not there when the sale started. Currently, books in the science section are selling for 40% off.

albatron
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From: Stuart, Florida, USA
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posted 08-19-2011 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just posted a review of this book on Amazon.

Charlie16
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From: Italy
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posted 09-04-2011 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Charlie16   Click Here to Email Charlie16     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For my friend Francis: As I am sure Italian readers would find it helpful! When you and Al come in Italy? I'll wait forever!

FFrench
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From: San Diego
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posted 09-05-2011 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Speriamo di vedervi lì un giorno!

Charlie16
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From: Italy
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posted 09-08-2011 04:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Charlie16   Click Here to Email Charlie16     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received the book signed by Francis and Al Worden, fantastic!

MCroft04
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From: Smithfield, Me, USA
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posted 09-08-2011 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just finished reading this wonderful book. Great job Al and Francis! I'll post a review later. Lots of new info and details, showing a side of Al Worden that I was not familiar with. I have to admit though, that when I reached Chapter 12 (Ruin), I wanted to skip it because I knew I was going to get a lot more details on the covers that would just verify what I already knew; the Apollo 15 crew got screwed.

I was especially surprised with Al's comments about Dave Scott on page 273. I'd hoped that they had patched up old differences. They seemed quite amiable at the Apollo 15 40th anniversary celebration.

Pat Gleeson
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posted 09-12-2011 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Pat Gleeson   Click Here to Email Pat Gleeson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've just completed this book myself. I have to agree that it's one of the better astronaut biographies. His recounting of his experiences alone in lunar orbit are vivid. He comes across as a straightforward and dedicated individual, and he doesn't flinch in his account of the postal covers controversy or the damage done to relationships as a result.

A very worthwhile read, up there with Michael Collins' autobiography.

Henk Boshuijer
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From: Netherlands
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posted 09-12-2011 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have started reading the book now to prepare myself for Col. Worden's lecture at Space Expo in The Netherlands on October 19. I really would like to ask him some good questions. Any suggestions?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-13-2011 09:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kudos are in order to Al Worden and Francis French: Falling to Earth debuted this week on the Los Angeles Times' hardcover nonfiction bestsellers list at No. 12!

MCroft04
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posted 09-13-2011 09:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why am I not surprised? Again, great job Al and Francis!

Paul78zephyr
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From: Hudson, MA
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posted 09-22-2011 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have recently finished reading Colonel Worden's book Falling to Earth. I believe I was the first person to read my local library's new copy. I must say that I consider myself a huge M-G-A fan and have read everything I can about the early space program but I admit that I had very little knowledge of the life of Colonel Worden. This is a VERY well written book. Not since Mike Mullane's Riding Rockets have I been absolutely glued to a book - just could not put it down. Colonel Worden's brutal honesty about his own life and those around him is both refreshing and, at times, disturbing. If Colonel Worden was to run for office today he would certainly have my vote - he is a true American hero.

If I may Id like to share my favorite passage from Colonel Worden's book:

I felt like I could see the whole world. The sun was white, burning with a cold, unforgiving glare that highlighted every tiny scratch on my canopy. The sky was not yet black, but it was dark, and bright stars were beginning to appear. Below me, the earth was brilliantly lit. I could gaze from the orange desert of Edwards down across Los Angeles, past San Diego, and deep into Mexico, until the land and ocean finally disappeared in the blue, glowing haze of the atmosphere. Gazing into the deep, darkening horizon, I could see the slight curve of our planet’s edge. It was eerie – and beautiful.

Fezman92
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posted 09-22-2011 02:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of my favorite lines is on page 204, second paragraph.

tegwilym
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posted 09-22-2011 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mine hasn't shown up yet but I have read it though from the library - great book!

MCroft04
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posted 09-23-2011 04:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a very nice advertisement for the book in the Nov issue of Air and Space!

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-28-2011 07:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Francis French discusses writing "Falling to Earth" with Al Worden in this interview on Balboa Park's website.
I just finished reading your book with Al Worden, Falling to Earth. How was working with Al and what were your contributions to the writing process?

Al is a natural storyteller; he is one of those guys who knows how to tell a story and tell it well. It was a real pleasure to work with Al because the stories basically come pouring out of him, and my job was to put the jigsaw together, taking the various stories and forming them into a cohesive narrative. It was relatively easy because Al is such a great storyteller, and he knew really what he wanted to say.

FFrench
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From: San Diego
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posted 09-29-2011 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The book just got a mention in this restaurant review.

alanh_7
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From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
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posted 09-29-2011 09:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a great review of "Falling to Earth" in the September edition of Spaceflight magazine (Vol. 53 No. 9) along with a discussion on "Hidden Geological Secrets of the Apollo 15 Flight" and a review of Al Worden's recent visit to Scotland.

Very nice review of the book. Congrats.

Neil DC
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From: Middletown, NJ, USA
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posted 09-30-2011 08:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Neil DC   Click Here to Email Neil DC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for your kind words on the book review in Spaceflight magazine. We would have liked to have had it couple of months earlier but better late than never. Francis and Al did an excellent job of this biography. I felt honored to be asked to review it in advance and also thoroughly enjoyed reading it. These kind of books are always quite inspirational and show us non-astronauts, that being successful is more about bouncing back from tough situations than only enjoying the good times. Congratulations and thank you Francis. I look forward to reading more space history from you. Enjoy the accolades and book tour you thoroughly earned it!

bruce
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posted 10-11-2011 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just discovered Jason Rhian’s review of Al Worden’s book on AmericaSpace. There’s another here.

ColinBurgess
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From: Sydney, Australia
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posted 10-20-2011 11:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today I saw another great review of this book, which is not only a delightful and complimentary review, but coincidentally features a colour depiction of the Apollo 15 EVA carried out by Al Worden, on the same day as Ed Hengeveld revealed to us the magnificent painting of that same subject he personally presented to Al Worden. A great book, and I have to say that Ed's painting is far superior to the one in the review.

Gilbert
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posted 10-21-2011 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Colin, that is a nice review.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-13-2011 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Al Worden recently visited Google, where he took part in their Authors@Google Talk series.

As command module pilot for the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971, Al Worden flew on what is widely regarded as the greatest exploration mission that humans have ever attempted. He spent six days orbiting the moon, including three days completely alone, the most isolated human in existence. During the return from the moon to earth he also conducted the first spacewalk in deep space, becoming the first human ever to see both the entire earth and moon simply by turning his head. The Apollo 15 flight capped an already-impressive career as an astronaut, including important work on the pioneering Apollo 9 and Apollo 12 missions, as well as the perilous flight of Apollo 13.

Nine months after his return from the moon, Worden received a phone call telling him he was fired and ordering him out of his office by the end of the week. He refused to leave.

What happened in those nine months, from being honored with parades and meetings with world leaders to being unceremoniously fired, has been a source of much speculation for four decades. Worden has never before told the full story around the dramatic events that shook NASA and ended his spaceflight career. Readers will learn them here for the first time, along with the exhilarating account of what it is like to journey to the moon and back. It's an unprecedentedly candid account of what it was like to be an Apollo astronaut, with all its glory but also its pitfalls.

Kite
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From: Northampton UK
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posted 11-13-2011 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a great ambassador for space Al Worden is. He is not afraid to give his opinions. I have attended two talks by him at Birmingham and London and this was a similar formula, but each time is unique as he can discuss issues so clearly and varied that it just flows so much that I think he could go on for hours and still he would hold your interest. I note the people posting on Google have very positive comments of his talk but we on collectSPACE have been aware of how good a presenter he is for a long time. Long may he be able to continue.

Tom
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posted 12-26-2011 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having been lucky enough to be one of "around a million people gathered to see the launch" of Apollo 15, I too found Col. Worden's book very interesting.

I am always fascinated by the crew selection process that NASA had beginning with the Mercury flights.

Worden seems to shed some light on the process when talking about those astronauts chosen as Apollo support crew members.

It seems that those chosen for the early Apollo missions in that role, and were recognized for a "job well done", were rewarded by being assigned to a back-up and eventually flight crew position.

Correct me if I am wrong, but Stu Roosa was never assigned to a support or back-up crew position before his assignment to the prime crew of Apollo 13/14.

I guess they'll always be a bit of mystery involved when it comes to selecting crews.

J.L
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posted 12-26-2011 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for J.L   Click Here to Email J.L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tom:
Correct me if I am wrong, but Stu Roosa was never assigned to a support or back-up crew position before his assignment to the prime crew of Apollo 13/14.
Roosa was a member of the Apollo 9 support crew.

Tom
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posted 12-26-2011 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wasn't the Apollo 9 support crew Mitchell, Haise, and Worden? And when Haise moved up to replace Lovell on the back-up crew, Lousma took his place.

J.L
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posted 12-26-2011 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for J.L   Click Here to Email J.L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My bad, I guess. I trusted the Stu Roosa Wiki article.
Roosa was one of 19 people selected as part of the astronaut class of 1966 and served as a member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 9 mission.

canyon42
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posted 12-26-2011 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to their NASA bios, Roosa, Mitchell, Lousma, and Worden all served on the Apollo 9 support crew. Haise's bio doesn't say anything to that effect.

Tom
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posted 12-26-2011 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chariots for Apollo includes early Apollo flight crew info.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-28-2011 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actor Michael Raynor, who portrayed Al Worden in HBO's miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon" has shared with collectSPACE with his thoughts after reading "Falling to Earth."
"Falling to Earth," Al Worden's incredibly unique and inspiring story written candidly with Francis French, is truly worth reading. Once I started Colonel Worden's compelling autobiography I could not put the book down.

I was particularly moved by his self-motivated character, forged in childhood, an appreciation of rising early to work all day on his family's farm, the strong but disappearing ethic that built our country and set Al on his unpredictable destiny into military training, flight school, NASA and flying to the moon in Apollo 15's historic exploratory mission for all humanity. His easy going personality filters through all his lifelong commitments and sacrifice, even through his unwarranted yet temporary change of fortune occurring a year after his highly celebrated trip to the moon.

What's more, I got the thrill to meet Colonel Worden personally, having portrayed him in the Emmy Award winning mini-series, "From the Earth to the Moon!" His only false words are his handwritten ones scribbled in my personal copy of "Falling to Earth" which say that "you play me better than me!" I doubt it.

Al Worden's incredible achievements and accomplishments which continue into present day are told in a highly relatable and humorous salt-of-the-earth manner. As expected, "Falling to Earth" is another job well done!!

bruce
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posted 01-05-2012 08:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just noticed on Facebook via the Retro Space Images' page, Jan Irwin, one of Jim Irwin's children, posted the following:
I also want to encourage everyone to pick up a copy of "Falling to Earth" Al Worden has brought the most fresh honest perspective of the story of Apollo 15 that Ken I have read to this date. Al is another one of my heroes!!!!

Chris Gainor
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posted 01-14-2012 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chris Gainor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Al Worden and Francis French have done a great job in this memoir, which I would rate as one of the best astronaut memoirs for its era. The book contains many vivid details of Worden's life and his flight as the CMP on Apollo 15. Falling to Earth also has the most thorough account of the controversy over flown philatelic covers that unfortunately cut short the careers of Worden and his crewmates. I highly recommend this book.

bruce
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From: Fort Mill, SC, USA
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posted 01-15-2012 08:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've just read a very nice book review of "Falling to Earth: An Apollo 15 Astronaut's Journey to the Moon" in the BIS January 2012 issue of Spaceflight.

In addition to being very complementary of the book's writing style, I found the following sentence to be one of high praise indeed:

Books like this not only introduce a new generation to one of humanity's greatest adventures, but make a critical contribution to the collective record of that exceptional era by those who made it happen.
Congratulations to Al Worden and Francis French for their hard work and wonderful effort!

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-18-2012 04:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In support of my old chum and writing colleague Francis French's recent magnificent effort with Al Worden, I found an excellent review of their book on "Astronomy Now," written by Gurbir Singh.

Kite
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From: Northampton UK
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posted 01-24-2012 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A really good read but I would not have expected anything else from Al Worden and Francis French. It is very thorough and honest, like the man himself, and is up there with the best of space autobiographies. Highly recommended.

bruce
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From: Fort Mill, SC, USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 04-10-2012 05:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just noticed this review of Al Worden’s book "Falling To Earth" in the National Space Society's magazine Ad Astra.
Everyone makes mistakes, though some are more public than others. In Colonel Al Worden's new memoir "Falling to Earth," he finally opens up about his mistake regarding the Apollo 15 postal cover scandal that cost him his job at NASA.

FFrench
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From: San Diego
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posted 06-11-2012 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A copy of "Falling To Earth" is currently in this eBay auction, along with many other special collectible space items. Al Worden and I donated this copy to support the educational efforts of the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville (hosts of Space Camp).

Will you make a bid, or pass on the word? You'll see that this copy has been specially notated "First Edition, First Printing Run: From the authors' personal supply." Thank you!

APG85
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posted 06-11-2012 10:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A fantastic book and it's on Kindle which for me is a must as I travel constantly...

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-13-2012 05:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Courtesy its co-author, here's an advance look at the front cover of the softcover edition of the National Bestseller Falling to Earth.


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