Space News
space history and artifacts articles

space history discussion forums

worldwide astronaut appearances

selected space history documents

related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Publications & Multimedia
  Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom (George Leopold)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom (George Leopold)
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 33804
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-11-2015 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
George Leopold writes on his blog:
My biography of the American astronaut Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom," will be released by Purdue University Press in June 2016.

My thesis challenges the prevailing view of Gus Grissom as a "hard luck" astronaut or the "lost astronaut." He was neither, and knew at every step in his flying career where he was going and how he would get there. The meticulous engineering test pilot calculated the risks and attempted on each of his space flights to minimize them.

The odds – statistical probability in a "crash program" to reach the moon before the Soviets – eventually caught up with Gus Grissom. He nevertheless believed that the rewards were worth the risk.

As the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire approaches, a tragedy that claimed the lives of Grissom and his crew, it is time to reassess the pioneering astronaut’s life and career and the enduring contributions he made to the history of human space exploration.

As my publisher and I prepare for the release of "Calculated Risk," I'll provide periodic updates here, including an image of the book's cover.

America is in need of heroes. Gus Grissom was an authentic risk taker and a hero who helped humanity reach another world.

Silent Sea

Posts: 28
Registered: Mar 2015

posted 06-11-2015 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silent Sea     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Firstly, this sounds incredibly intriguing and I will definitely be reading it.

Now. I admit I've not read "The Right Stuff" beyond the first chapter and I've seen the movie only once, but from my reading it seems that this is the main source of some people's thinking of Gus Grissom as messing up and this book is, for lack of better term, an antidote to such thinking.

Is the reference to the "lost astronaut" in reference to Ray E. Boomhower's book on Grissom? That book called out "The Right Stuff" and I thought did an admirable job of telling Gus's story. It's a good solid biography, in my opinion. Would love to hear other people's thoughts, though.

I sincerely hope this upcoming book gets some good publicity because the thesis is really a compelling one and I look forward to reading about Grissom from this particular angle.


Posts: 635
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 06-19-2015 07:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone have the author's contact information? I didn't find it on his blog. I'd like to get in touch with him about this project.


Posts: 31
From: Reston, VA, USA
Registered: Jun 2010

posted 11-06-2015 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gleopold   Click Here to Email gleopold     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My biography of Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom," is scheduled for release from Purdue University Press in mid-June 2016.

David Carey

Posts: 551
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 11-07-2015 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In 2009 George spearheaded a publication for EETimes, aligned to the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11's landing.

Along with his own great content he provided superb editing for contributors, and I'm sure the new book will reflect his craft.

Look forward to reading it George!


Posts: 5184
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 01-14-2016 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom
by George Leopold
Unlike other American astronauts, Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom never had the chance to publish his memoirs — save for an account of his role in the Gemini program — before the tragic launch pad fire on January 27, 1967, which took his life and those of Edward White and Roger Chaffee. The international prestige of winning the Moon Race cannot be understated, and Grissom played a pivotal and enduring role in securing that legacy for the United States. Indeed, Grissom was first and foremost a Cold Warrior, a member of the first group of Mercury astronauts whose goal it was to beat the Soviet Union to the moon.

Drawing on extensive interviews with fellow astronauts, NASA engineers, family members, and friends of Gus Grissom, George Leopold delivers a comprehensive survey of Grissom's life that places his career in the context of the Cold War and the history of human spaceflight.

Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom adds significantly to our understanding of that tumultuous period in American history.

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Purdue University Press (June 15, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1557537453
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557537454

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 2016 All rights reserved.

Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a