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  Astronauts who have refused to write books

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Author Topic:   Astronauts who have refused to write books
p51
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Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 02-19-2013 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just curious, have there been any astronauts who have made it really clear they're never going to write a book?

It almost seems like a prerequisite these days, much like former Presidents. Everyone expects astronauts to write books. Many say they will eventually.

I was just curious if any have made it clear they WON'T be doing so.

ColinBurgess
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Posts: 1567
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 02-19-2013 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jim McDivitt told me he has absolutely no interest in writing his story.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 2457
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 02-19-2013 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dick Gordon told me a couple of years ago he would never write a book. But I have since heard one is now in the pipeline.

p51
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Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 02-19-2013 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astronauts can easily be called self-centered by the nature of what they do. It's hard to imagine any of them not wanting to get their story out there...

spaced out
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Posts: 2597
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 02-20-2013 04:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I understand that Fred Haise has no intention of writing a book.

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

posted 02-20-2013 05:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think all astronauts or even a majority are self-centered. Driven to be high achievers, yes, but with a great deal of thought to achievement for their country, or their military specialty, science etc.

If the above is true I can see how many would not think their lives special enough to warrant a book.

uk spacefan
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Posts: 96
From: London
Registered: Jan 2007

posted 02-20-2013 06:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for uk spacefan   Click Here to Email uk spacefan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I never thought John Young would write one, but then again any astronaut can change their minds...

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 02-20-2013 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think in Dick Gordon's case, part of what may have changed his mind is the success and acceptance Alfred Worden's book "Falling to Earth" is receiving as it is giving readers an insight into the late Apollo program.

The thing about it is an astronaut's refusal to write a book I don't chalk up to being "self centered" at all. The biggest thing to keep in mind is practically ALL of the astronauts up through the end of the Apollo program were either active duty military or civilian with extensive military experience. Harrison Schmitt was the only civilian scientist of the lot not brought up in that background who flew to the moon.

Many of these military men were academy graduates from either West Point or Anapolis (Airforce Academy alums didn't start becoming plentiful in the astronaut corps until shuttle program). Worden talks in his book about the "code of silence" and how academy graduates (at least West Point ones, which both he and Dave Scott were) typically don't utter their dirty laundry in public. They keep it internalized if it might bring harm and do it not necessarily for the good of that other individual, but for the good of the corps. That is one reason why he didn't really talk about the whole Apollo 15 stamp cover situation from his point of view until he made the decision to write his book.

Not that I am saying that there might be "dirty laundry" about NASA, but the decision to potentially write about such things is not necessarily an easy one to make. Throw in certain mission details that might be classified (such as the MOL project, something that guys like Truly, Bobko and Crippen were involved in) and things get more muddied. Astronauts are some of the most thoughtful people I've ever met and most think through their decisions to do certain things very carefully.

People can always change their minds though. Take Neil Armstrong. How many years did it take for Hansen to gain enough trust from the "First Man" to write that book? As time progresses, attitudes can change as people get older. Their priorities may change. So just because somebody says "no" now doesn't mean it will always be that way. But at the same time, I fully respect the decision not to say or write anything.

David C
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Posts: 80
From: Pasadena
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 02-22-2013 05:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
Astronauts can easily be called self-centered by the nature of what they do.
Huh? What, fly 'planes and solve engineering problems?

All times are CT (US)

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