Rocketman: Astronaut Pete Conrad's Incredible Ride to the Moon and Beyond

Rocketman: Astronaut Pete Conrad's Incredible Ride to the Moon and Beyond

4.6 9
by Nancy Conrad, Howard A. Klausner
     
 

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HE WAS THE THIRD MAN TO WALK ON THE MOON—
BUT THE FIRST TO DANCE ON IT.
HE WAS THE ROCKETMAN.

For Pete Conrad, it was all about the ride. Whether he was hot-dogging at Mach 2, test-flying every supersonic jet the Navy developed (and some they shouldn’t have), orbiting the Earth at almost 20,000 mph, or redlining his

Overview

HE WAS THE THIRD MAN TO WALK ON THE MOON—
BUT THE FIRST TO DANCE ON IT.
HE WAS THE ROCKETMAN.

For Pete Conrad, it was all about the ride. Whether he was hot-dogging at Mach 2, test-flying every supersonic jet the Navy developed (and some they shouldn’t have), orbiting the Earth at almost 20,000 mph, or redlining his Corvette, he loved pushing the envelope.

Pete wasn’t the squeaky-clean astronaut poster boy. The guy every NASA pilot wanted to happy-hour with after work—and would kill to fly with—Pete had a natural outspokenness that got him washed out of the Mercury program. But the “Comeback Kid” came roaring back—flying two Gemini missions, walking on the Moon as commander of Apollo 12, commanding the first Skylab, and logging more time in space than all the original astronauts combined.
 
This is a surprisingly candid insider’s view of the greatest ride in history: America’s glorious race to the stars, as seen through the eyes of a real space cowboy.

Editorial Reviews

Charles "Pete" Conrad (1930-99) seemed to be the last person destined to make history. The dyslexic son of debt-ridden parents, the Philadelphia-born future astronaut took odd jobs at an airfield before landing a Navy scholarship to Princeton, where he majored in aeronautical engineering. A born risk taker, he became one of the nation's elite test pilots, then joined the Mercury Space Program, only to drop out. Some people thought that he was too free-spirited or too short in stature to become an astronaut. Conrad proved them wrong. On his four Gemini flights, he spent nearly 1,200 hours in space, but he is best known as the commander of the second lunar landing in November 1969. His first words on the moon were not exactly tailored for history: "Whoopie!" he shouted, "That may have been one small step for Neil, but it's a long one for me!" In Rocketman, Conrad's widow joins with Space Cowboys screenplay writer Howard A. Klausner to capture the life and achievements of a high-flying hero.
Publishers Weekly
Screenwriter Klausner (Space Cowboys), writing with astronaut Conrad's second wife, Nancy, brings a snappy, movie-dialogue feel to this biography of Charles "Pete" Conrad (1930-1999). Perhaps not as well remembered as some of his colleagues because his missions fell between the more famous ones, Conrad flew on Gemini 5, which set a record for the most days in space up to that point, on Gemini 11, notable for rendezvousing and docking with a rocket on the first orbit, and commanded Apollo 12 on a glitch-free ride to the moon. A decade later, Conrad was called on to save the ill-fated Skylab, which had suffered crippling injuries on its journey into space. He showed that the best way to fix something was usually the simplest: a few good hard whacks with a hammer. Early in his career, Conrad was passed over for the Mercury program because he didn't have "the right stuff"-he got fed up with the intrusive medical exams and tossed his enema bag down on the commanding general's desk. But the public and Conrad's co-workers loved him for his hard-living, hard-working persona. Fans of the American space program will enjoy this fast read, which captures the bigger-than-life character of this gap-toothed, all-American space cowboy. Agent, Bill Gladstone. (May 3) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101099537
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/02/2006
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
368,236
File size:
460 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Nancy Conrad was married to Pete Conrad for the last ten years of his life. A writer, artists’ representative, and interior designer, she has left her mark on some of the world’s most prestigious publications, galleries, and homes. She cofounded Universal Space Network with her late husband, is a member of the Presidents’ Circle of the National Academies, and serves on the board of directors of the California Air and Space Center at NASA Ames Research Center. She also cofounded the Community Emergency Healthcare Initiative, a program designed to prevent injuries and deaths occurring from medical error in emergency rooms around the world.
 
A lifelong student and devotee of all things space, Howard A. Klausner is a screenwriter and a creative director of Rocketman Enterprises, Inc., an entertainment technology group. His most prominent big-screen credit is Space Cowboys, starring Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones, and he is currently developing a television series about the space program. Mr. Klausner lives on Orcas Island, in Washington, with his wife and three daughters, where he writes aboard an old wooden sailboat, staring long and often at the Moon and stars.

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Rocketman: Astronaut Pete Conrad's Incredible Ride to the Moon and Beyond 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Tennisbuff More than 1 year ago
It was hard to put this book down and while it has 463 pages I wish it had another 463. Great insight in to the intimate world of astronauts. No holds barred and even addresses the kind of questions like how you go to the bathroom in space! If you are any kind of space nut and are not bound to the earth with Political Correctness, then this is a must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pete Conrad! That name exudes the true nature of the 'hot pilot' in the vernacular of the world that Tom Wolfe coined as 'The Right Stuff.' Pete Conrad was the standard by which many of the Apollo astronauts conducted themselves. A true legend among his contemporaries, Conrad was the original coiner of the phrase 'If you can't be good, be colorful.' Of all the Apollo astronaut biographies written (and I've read them all), I would have to place Pete's biography within the Top Five best written. Filled with anecdotes and stories of Pete's life, this book explains in great detail the triumph and tragedy of Pete's life, his exploits in and out of the cockpit, and the great visionary that he was for space as both a place of exploration and an opportunity of entrepreneurial enterprise. Sadly, we lost Pete in 1998 to a motorcycle accident, but his legacy lives on in this incredible book. A must read for any space enthusiast.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I grew up in the Space Center area of Texas and was a neighbor of Pete and Jane and a number of other astronauts. Pete was everything this book portrays and a wonderful person full of LIFE! What a nice way to have a last visit with Pete and all he did for the space program - as well as his friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the finest I have ever read. The author depicts a space hero as approachable and one of us, yet Pete Conrad retains his presence among those we rightfully adorn with our praise and admiration. This is a good book even for non-space enthusiasts, for those who need an inspiration to see the stars in any goal or ambition are within reach.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fabulous read for any space enthusiast or simply for those needing a lesson on perseverance on the road of life. Howard Klausner captures Conrad's tale in magnificent fashion. A fantastic page turner and no doubt one for everyone's 2005 summer reading list.
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