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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

4.2 52
by Gene Kranz
 

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Gene Kranz was present at the creation of America's manned space program and was a key player in it for three decades. As a flight director in NASA's Mission Control, Kranz witnessed firsthand the making of history. He participated in the space program from the early days of the Mercury program to the last Apollo mission, and beyond. He endured the disastrous first

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Failure Is Not an Option 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
bisbohemian More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
tickledpinkDG More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pressed in the memories of our minds is the phrase by Krantz: 'Failure is Not an Option'. What an appropriate title of this wonderful book. Long before Krantz began to pen his story, the events of that particular Apollo mission were forever pressed into our minds and hearts. Krantz and many others brought something good out of a particularly devastating event somewhere between Earth and the moon. Those of us who have grown up with the space program-from Sputnik to the International Space Station-shall never forget Apollo 13 and the missions which soared before and those that followed. Each one was a milestone and a big step that took us from this world to another one and back. Thanks to Gene Krantz and others like him who made a difference in our lives everyday and shared with us the greatest adventure of exploring space. This book by Krantz allows us the tremendous opportunity of once again 'listening to the roar' of the manned rockets. Through this book we can once again breathe, smell, and touch Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. We can live the space program and climb the skies once again. Thanks Gene Krantz. God Speed. You have given us one of the best with 'Failure Is Not an Option'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 15 days ago
The autobiography Failure is Not an Option by Gene Kranz depicts the events of the original space race through the eyes of himself, the flight director. Kranz begins with his autobiography working in the Mercury program, and takes readers through his time in the Gemini program, and finally ends in the Apollo program. This autobiography’s style is characteristic of Kranz himself, not possessing the most elegant grammar, but instead focusing on the overall context and helping the reader to understand and decipher the complicated aerospace vocabulary and concepts. Kranz does an amazing job of this, always explaining anything that is not common knowledge to the reader, making sure they never feel lost. Because of the nature of the content, and Kranz’s writing style, this novel is not for all audiences. It is recommended that the reader have a deep rooted interest in the history of the space race, aerospace engineering, and/or anyone interested in space and spaceflight. This autobiography is heavily weighted in the historical aspect of the space race and detailed accounts of each of the manned missions, but also introduces complex concepts (such as orbital mechanics) in an inviting and easy to understand manner. At times, the reader can start to feel the stress and pressure of certain missions as Kranz describes step by step events and missions that took a turn for the worst. However, a unique aspect in his writing is that he always includes the lessons that NASA learned from the event or mission, and how they applied it to their missions in the future. For readers interested in space and space travel, this is an amazing book to read.
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