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  A Kansan Conquers the Cosmos: or, "Spaced Out All My Life!" (Alan Glines)

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Author Topic:   A Kansan Conquers the Cosmos: or, "Spaced Out All My Life!" (Alan Glines)
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-18-2010 06:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A Kansan Conquers the Cosmos: or, "Spaced Out All My Life!"
by Alan Glines
A Kansan Conquers the Cosmos presents the story of Alan Glines, who began working with NASA in 1966 and was part of Mission Control during the height of the space program. Full of fun and excitement, Glines's autobiography offers a first-person glimpse into four decades of the field of aerospace.

He traces his own history from the beginning of his career through to the present and shares interesting anecdotes and histories of NASA and the American space program. From his days a science fiction-obsessed youth who ran a theater as if it were mission control to his various experiences in NASA, Glines attained the Mission Control spirit and dedication that he has lived for decades-that is, being on the playing field and being all you can be, all the time. Over four decades, he has acquired an extraordinarily rich tapestry of experience in the aerospace worlds of research and development, and command and control, exploring no fewer than seven geographical and intellectual career paths over the years.

As a man whose career, teaching, and speaking efforts continue to inspire others today, Glines's story is a detailed and unique and the aerospace industry in America from the inside.

  • Hardcover: 108 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse.com (November 18, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 1450264433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450264433

MCroft04
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Posts: 1219
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 03-04-2011 07:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Glines will be speaking at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas on March 17, 2011. Just down the road from the Cosmosphere.
Time: 2 p.m.
Place: Room 102, Yates Hall
Title: A Brief History of NASA Manned Spaceflight: An Insider's Viewpoint

Presenter: Alan Glines, former NASA employee in the Apollo Integrated Communications Office

As one of the original men of Apollo Mission Control Alan's background covers many years of the evolution of manned space flight beginning with the two-man Gemini Project. He graduated from the University of Kansas in Electrical Engineering in 1966 and joined NASA in the area of spacecraft operations at their new Space Center in Houston in 1966. He rose to a primary position in the main control room by the time of the Apollo lunar landings. Insider stories of the key Apollo lunar landing missions will be detailed in this presentation as well as the Apollo 13 failure and recovery. Alan was cast in the first movie on Apollo 13 when Hollywood used the NASA control rooms for the filming back in 1971. Tom Hanks' movie on Apollo 13 came later. Alan recently published a book entitled: A KANSAN CONQUERS THE COSMOS or "Spaced out all my life!"

Wish I could make it.

MCroft04
Member

Posts: 1219
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 03-25-2011 08:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just completed this quick read. The biggest take-away is that Mr. Glines claims that during the fateful Apollo 1 plugs out test, the CSM hatch was supposed to remain open. He claims that someone, probably Gus, closed the hatch, most likely due to excessive noise caused by workmen. Has anyone heard this before? It appears that the entire book was written from memory and not extensive research, but I find it difficult to believe that the years could have clouded his memory this much.

garymilgrom
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Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 08-10-2012 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a review of the Kindle edition and contains graphic comments on the Apollo 1 fire.

Per Mel's (MCroft04) post above, this is one man's memories of his career at NASA written in a personal, non-academic style. Mr. Glines' enthusiasm and pride in his positions at NASA comes through loud and clear and is the best part of the book.

However the book is poorly written and edited. One error that crops up early are references to Glines using the phrase "Beam Me Up Scotty" in 1960. However the show Star Trek did not debut until 1966.

Other minor errors are referring to Apollo 7 as the "return to flight" mission of the Apollo program, and insisting that Walt Cunningham trained hard for Skylab and expected to fly on it. As Cunningham retired from NASA two years before the first Skylab mission this seems unlikely to me.

The author repeatedly makes the analogy between his first job running a theatrical lighting console and his eventual position on an electronics console at mission control. While interesting once, the anecdote grows tiresome quickly.

Further Mr. Glines makes serious accusations about the Apollo 1 fire with nothing to back them up. As Mel stated, he blames the crew for the fire. He blames Gus for closing the hatch and says outright "this killed them." He also states that "the crew caught fire" which is at odds with other reports of this incident.

Here are more details from the book that members of this board may be able to verify or refute:

Glines says the spacecraft hatch "was never closed in a plugs out test" and also that "the hatch is never closed during a test using 100% oxygen." This seems odd to me as you couldn't maintain a pure environment with an open hatch, but I'm not an engineer or an expert on this incident.

Finally the photos in the e-book are very low quality, you cannot make out figures or read the text they contain.

Although the above sounds very critical, ignoring the errors the book is a lightweight, quick read for an afternoon and does a good job at giving one man's memories of working at JSC during the Apollo era.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-10-2012 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to note, the author, Apollo flight controller Alan Glines passed away on July 3, 2012.

All times are CT (US)

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