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  From The Trench of Mission Control to the Craters of The Moon (by the Trench Team)

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Author Topic:   From The Trench of Mission Control to the Craters of The Moon (by the Trench Team)
FFrench
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Posts: 3094
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 04-20-2011 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From The Trench of Mission Control to the Craters of The Moon: stories from the men of Mission Control’s Flight Dynamics group, "The Trench.”

Former NASA Flight Director Glynn Lunney just shared the following information with me, and feel free to share the following description he wrote. I have not seen the book yet, but just ordered it, as it sounds like a fascinating one. Our museum plans to blog about it and I’ll post it in a few other social media spots. I encourage you to spread the word too, as otherwise these small-print-run books tend to slip under the radar of those who would love to read them. The link below allows you to preview book pages.

In the early 60's, I was chief of a small branch which was the home of the trajectory and guidance flight controllers in NASA's Mission Control. Their tasks were so woven together that they adopted a team designation for the 3 consoles in the first row of MCC and called themselves 'the Trench'. A group of seven of us has written our stories for our families and descendants to come to describe where we came from, how we got to NASA and some of what we did there. We were a very small group in the huge enterprise of Apollo and we still feel like a 'band of brothers' who enjoyed a truly grand adventure. The stories are compiled in one book, now in print at an online printing firm. The stories are probably typical for the thousands of young Americans who came to do Apollo. These young men and their 'brothers' did a fabulous job and this is an opportunity to know at least some of them.

hermit
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Posts: 110
From: Scotland
Registered: Jun 2009

posted 04-20-2011 03:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hermit   Click Here to Email hermit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've ordered a copy in eager expectation.

minipci
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Posts: 214
From: London, UK
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 04-20-2011 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for minipci     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Me too!

Fezman92
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Posts: 1030
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 04-20-2011 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are two ones. One by the trench and one by the trench team. Are they the same thing?

FFrench
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Posts: 3094
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 04-20-2011 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking at the pages, the difference appears to be only that one is the hardcover edition and one the softcover.

capoetc
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Posts: 1713
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 04-20-2011 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This looks like it would be a great read -- I will definitely order a copy. There is a 39 page "preview" available on the web site.

Has it already been printed, or is it a "print on demand" kind of thing?

Spoon
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Posts: 70
From: Carlisle, England
Registered: May 2006

posted 05-03-2011 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spoon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After ordering this book on 23rd April, it arrived in the UK this morning.

It is a marvellous book with extensive contributions and memoirs from Glynn Lunney, Jerry Bostick and Charles Deiterich among others. As well as covering their own experiences they remember colleagues who have passed away, such as Cliff Charlesworth and Carl Huss.

My hardback copy of this 'print on demand' book is superb in every respect and came packaged safe and secure.

I do have a particular interest in the Flight Control aspect of spaceflight and if it wasn't for this forum (and Francis) I probably would have missed this, so Thank You.

I do not believe there is anybody here who would not value, and treasure, this publication.

cspg
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Posts: 4244
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 05-05-2011 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Amazon.com link to the paperback edition.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1713
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 10-10-2011 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I finally got around to reading From the Trench of Mission Control to the Craters of the Moon. I give it two "thumbs up" ... when reading, you have to keep in mind that it really is a single binding of multiple memoirs of Trench members. There was (I think) little to no effort to make the stories flow from one to the next, which was perfectly ok with me.

There were a number of new things that I had not read elsewhere, including a fairly detailed description of the behind-the-scenes efforts to figure out where the Apollo 11 LM was on the moon (kind of important since an error in that location would mean incorrect timing of liftoff and an overly-complicated lunar orbit rendezvous). Fascinating stuff.

I enjoyed hearing the personal stories of these men as well -- they obviously take great pride in their part of the Apollo program, as they should. I highly recommend it to those whose interest in the space program goes beyond the stories of the astronauts.

ilbasso
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Posts: 1501
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 10-10-2011 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Amazon has a used copy available for $597. Is it signed by Buzz or something?

capoetc
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Posts: 1713
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 10-10-2011 03:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There should be plenty of copies left at the link provided in the first post of this thread.

Or, you could pay $597 ... up to you.

ilbasso
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Posts: 1501
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 10-10-2011 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I meant to go back and add that I did indeed visit the link to the original site, and have ordered a copy. I'm very much looking forward to reading it!

garymilgrom
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Posts: 1640
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 11-23-2011 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read this recently and capotec's overview above reflects my thoughts on the book very well.

However one thing has been overlooked - every single person in this book talks positively about the quality of the NASA management they worked for. They say they learned things from these people that helped them their entire careers, not just in their NASA responsibilities.

As there have been several recent books critical of NASA management it's interesting to read how highly they were thought of 40+ years ago.

OLDIE
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Posts: 169
From: Portsmouth, England
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 11-25-2011 02:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OLDIE     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just checked on Amazon. They have several new copies at $18.80 USD each.

MCroft04
Member

Posts: 1243
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 12-20-2012 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a fun book; documents what all these guys did in Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and some shuttle. It was also special to get it signed by Jerry Bostick and Glynn Lunney at the November Astronaut Scholarship Foundation show!

On page 390, Dave Reed writes about John Llewellyn, and states that John's story was to be folded into this "Trench" book, but because John was in his last months that they produced John's book as a "standalone" (which elated John). Is there a John Llewellyn book?

Kite
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Posts: 254
From: Northampton UK
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 12-20-2012 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes there is a John Llewellyn book based on his exact transcriptions of oral recordings of his history and times. It is only a very thin edition of twenty eight written pages but really gives you an insight of this amazing character and in particular his heroic deeds in the Korean war and his time in Mission Control. The title is 'From The Trenches of Korea to the Trench in Mission Control'. Only published in June 2012.

Kite
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Posts: 254
From: Northampton UK
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 12-20-2012 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Further to my above post another book to get information of John Llewellyn's time in Mission Control is 'Oral Histories of NASA Flight Dynamics Controllers' which is a compendium to "From the Trench of Mission Control to the Craters of the Moon".

kr4mula
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Posts: 605
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 12-20-2012 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you're interested in more on John Llewellyn, you cand check out his 5 interviews (4 by me) he did with the JSC Oral History Project a decade or so ago. There's a lot of overlap between the two, but you can read these for free.

NASAgoob
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Posts: 26
From: Dallas, Texas, USA
Registered: Oct 2008

posted 01-19-2013 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NASAgoob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My first time reading through this section and was excited to read this article. Within minutes I ordered my copy. Thank you!

Buel
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Posts: 139
From: UK
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 10-20-2013 02:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I notice on Amazon that this book has 'Volume 3' in the title. I take it that there is more than one volume then?

cspg
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Posts: 4244
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 10-20-2013 09:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks more like a third expanded edition. There were two editions (softcover and hardcover). The original publishing website (Blurb) doesn't mention a third edition though.

jiffyq58
Member

Posts: 138
From: Durham, NC, USA
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 10-20-2013 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jiffyq58   Click Here to Email jiffyq58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The third edition has new chapters by Steve Bales and William Gravett. It's a puzzle as to why the book's publishing site doesn't list the third edition.

The third edition was available when I bought my hardback copy, but since I didn't know about it, I got a second edition. I have since acquired a third edition paperback copy.

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