20 Following


I listen to a lot of audiobooks, read a lot of library books and e-books, still somehow never have enough room on my bookshelves.

Currently reading

The Radical King (King Legacy)
Martin Luther King Jr., Cornel West
Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie

Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond

Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond - Gene Kranz I liked this both better and worse than a three-star review might indicate. The better part was that it was exactly what I wanted: an in depth look at the space program from setting up for Mercury to closing out Apollo, with a focus on mission control, but including details from the astronauts and the techs points of view. The book does that really well, laying out all of the challenges, problems and solutions clearly and in a manner easy for non-rocket scientists to understand. He also goes out of his way to mention women's contributions to the program. If you want a tour of the early days of space exploration, you could do worse.

Kranz is, however, a better mission controller than he is a writer. The prose itself is pretty clunky, and it presents a view of history that could charitably be called unnuanced. Proud to be American! America is the best country in the world! Space must be conquered, like America was! Awful Russians are awful! Free world! Kids these days! Etc. It reads like it was written by a fighter pilot from the 1950s, which is was. However, if you can stomach twenty-eight hours of that, the content is worthwhile.