Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2009

    Outstanding book. Great detail about so many different episodes during our country's struggle to reach the moon. Makes me proud of our country. We need to look to space again!

    Outstanding book. Great detail about so many different episodes during our country's struggle to reach the moon. Makes me proud of our country. We need to look to space again!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    A Great Memoir

    A great accounting of the space program from one who was there in the midst of all the action. A must read for anyone interested in early missions.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2001

    A great book from the controllers perspective!

    Being an avid apollo buff, this is a must for the collection. Being written from the controllers perspective, it puts a new spin on a subject that has been recorded and written about in great detail. Kranz captures the 'feel' of being part of that elite group of controllers. Imagine having a job that requires you to make life or death decisions within seconds, while having the whole world watching you. A great book by a great man!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2001

    Go For Apollo

    During the manned space flight program Mr. Gene Kranz, as a flight director, gave his attention to fine-tuning everything as he said in the title of his book, Failure is Not an Option. As he lived with that as his motto and worked with Apollo missions as a leader and a team member this helped the US space program be the success that it was. He has done it again with his book, FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION. Being on a site during the Gemini missions and working with some of the earlier flight controllers who worked for Gene Kranz I felt an important part of the team responsible for getting a man on the moon. Of course, after the Gemini mission and the beginning of the Apollo missions there were no flight controllers on site and we were working directly for the flight controllers in the States. His book has told the story of the manned program in a language everyone can understand. Holding back the tears when we found out what happened to the crew of Apollo 1 and holding our breath when we heard the astronauts describing what they knew about the Apollo 13 accident and then praying with everything we had for them to make it. That was the sad and suspenseful memories, which Mr. Gene Kranz has, give to me to relive. Setting on a console at the site and giving a, ¿CYI GO!¿ for an Apollo mission was the biggest thing I have ever done in my life. Gene has told it like it was without pulling punches.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2000

    We needed that book!

    After reading, and highly enjoying, books from many Apollo era astronauts (Shepard, Slayton, Lovell, Bean, Cernan, Collins), I wished I could learn more about the people living at the other end of the microphones, and about their work at developing, simulating and supporting America's first manned space missions. I once clearly said to myself 'What we need is a book from Gene Kranz!'. Just shortly later, I had the great surprise of finding that the said book was actually released. I immediately got it and found out that I was right. We did need to know about the complex aspects of the Mercury-Gemini-Apollo missions in a view somehow parallel from the astronaut's. It really made the whole picture clearer by looking at it from a different angle. I was fascinated to learn that it all started with just a few guys, no teacher, no how-to-do sheets (and also with one few-inch flight!), and developed into very well organized and performing teams of highly capable and dedicated persons, who could efficiently get people to the Moon and back. The book really makes us figure the importance of the quite large, complex and competent support teams whose work was as crucial as the astronauts' for each mission to achieve its objectives, and for a country to reach its goal. I especially appreciated his way of introducing and give credit to each individual he felt was important in making the challenge of the century successful. Thank you very much, Mr. Kranz, for spending the energy that allowed us to share the memories of someone who had the great opportunity to closely participate in such a key period of mankind history. Many thanks for letting us in the Mercury-Gemini-Apollo Mission Control rooms. After reading your book, I couldn't agree more with you: it really does look like the next best place to be from the spacecraft.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    JFK Would Be Proud

    Kranz is one of my heroes. I use that term not in the way it is thrown about these days with careless abandon. No, I mean that in the way that counts. This man is a national treasure. He - and thousands of others just like him - made America great.
    This book brings the events - unimaginable in the current world - to life through real world insight into the days that saw America rise to her greatest achievements. Not becuase they were easy, but because they were hard.
    This book is a testament to the intelligence, cunning and bravery that made America great. Perhaps we will find that spirit once again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    Lynn

    Ok

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    Where is the real lynn

    Come get my pus.ssy

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    Bri

    Hi

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    To bri

    Im here

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Nadia 2 bri & ellen

    Hey whats up

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Great book by great American.

    Very humbly written.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2009

    Weak

    One of the few books in years that I had to put away before I finish. It seem that for everyone that Kranz wrote about, that person was the greatest this or that, etc. Way too many praising, and not enough of what happen and how it was overcome. Ktanz, it seems, did not wanted to point out that, along the way, there were errors and screwups that lead to what happen on Apollo 13.

    Too bad it was a praise book and not a tell all. Kranz would have been the right person, at the right time and place to write it all down.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    Enlightening

    It's very interesting to read about NASA from someone like Gene Kranz. He was there, and knows exactly what he's talking about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2004

    Excellent Story

    Anyone who wants to know the true story of Mission Control must read this book. You will easily feel as if you are in there with Gene Kranz and the rest of the talented engineers who make up Mission Control. This is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2001

    A Very Human Story

    I read this book after reading 'Flight' by Chris Kraft. This book takes up where that book ends in more ways than one. It shows a very human side of the flight controller's life. I think Kranz mentions his wife at least once every 3 pages. He also talks about how nervousness led to several cigarettes and multiple trips to the bathroom. He talks about his failures (mostly during simulations) as well as his successes. This book is not quite as fast a read as 'Flight' because Kranz gives us many more details. But I was worried that I was going to read a book by a type of person we sometimes call 'Jarhead' but that wasn't the case at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2000

    Kranz Writes a Book of Excellence

    This is an outstanding book on the history and achievements of the early days of the manned space program. Gene Kranz has written a book that explains and illustrates Mission Control not only for current mission controllers like me but for anyone interested in human space exploration. It brings alive the program I followed as a child and young adult and helps me understand better the credo of excellence by which all mission controllers must live. No finer book on the human aspects of spaceflight has ever been written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2000

    A Must Read

    It's good to see a perspective of the Space Program from Mission Control. With this in mind, a more complete picture and appreciation of the space race and space program can now be had.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2000

    A different view of Apollo

    It was about time someone besides an astronaut wrote a book about Apollo and a great one it is. Nothing against the books by Deke Slayton, Buzz Aldren and Gene Cernan but they were all from the Astronaut's point of view and this one tells the story of the men behind the consoles at mission control. In this book we see how Nasa was built from the ground up. Young engineers recuited right out of college in many cases thrown together for the largest engineering project ever. What sets this book apart from the other books, as I said before, is it isn't written from the point of viw of the astronauts but the men in mission control. Apollo was a huge project and the truth is the astronauts were only a small part of the entire thing. Kranz does a fine job of telling the story. An example of some of the things we see created from scratch is the communication system for talking to the astronauts. Strung out all over the planet on ships, in the desert were these mini mission controls which had to be able to operate with mission control in Houston and on their own. This book really tells a whole new side of the Apollo story and although more technical than some other books on the subject is an easy read. Great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2000

    Kranz Provides Rare Insight Into Mission Control

    Gene Kranz provides the reader with an invigorating and totally authentic glimpse into the culture and history of Mission Control as seen through one of the key participants of the time. The book is a compelling story that captures the readers and carries them along through the frustrations, uncertainties, anguishes and triumphs of the race to put an American on the moon. For people that remember firsthand the emotions of being a spectator watching along on TV, this book brings you in the middle of the action while rekindling your emotions all over again. I was a grade schooler when Alan Shephard made his first sub-orbital hop, in high school for Neil Armstrong's small step and the rescue of Apollo 13. Since that time, I went on to spend the last 20 years at Mission Control and this book is a validation of that time. This is a well told, important contribution to the history of the US space program during the development years leading up to the initial triumphs of humanity in space. This should be required reading for all current flight controllers and for anyone that wants to gain an understanding of what it took to get a man on the moon and safely back to earth.

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