Smoke Jumper, Moon Pilot: The Remarkable Life of Apollo 14 Astronaut Stuart A. Roosa


Al Shepard was returning to the cosmos, and this time, he was going to walk on the Moon.

Grounded for most of the Sixties due to an inner ear problem, America's first man in space had been serving as NASA's Chief of the Astronaut Office, and had figured into the selection of crews for American manned space flights. Now healthy and cleared for flight himself, Shepard knew who...

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Al Shepard was returning to the cosmos, and this time, he was going to walk on the Moon.

Grounded for most of the Sixties due to an inner ear problem, America's first man in space had been serving as NASA's Chief of the Astronaut Office, and had figured into the selection of crews for American manned space flights. Now healthy and cleared for flight himself, Shepard knew who he wanted on his own Apollo crew.

For Lunar Module Pilot, he selected a brilliant Navy aviator, Edgar Mitchell, a.k.a. "The Brain," who already had a doctorate of science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from M.I.T., and had been highly involved in the design of the Lunar Module.

The Command Module Pilot, who would be responsible for guiding the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon, placing it in a safe orbit, and returning it safely to Earth, was to be Air Force pilot Stuart Roosa.

And Roosa didn't even have a college degree when he had won his Air Force wings, and hadn't been on a backup crew for an Apollo flight.

But when it came to piloting skills, he was that good.

Stu Roosa's life was incredibly diverse—the second son of a government surveyor, he had spent his early childhood in a migratory lifestyle with his family before the Roosas settled in Claremore, Oklahoma, where Stu proved to be an excellent student and developed a lifelong love of hunting.

He became a smoke jumper for the Forest Service before enlisting in the Air Force's aviation cadet program. Excelling in piloting skills, Roosa had graduated from test pilot school at the legendary Edwards Air Force Base before being chosen as an astronaut.

Roosa loved his family and his country, and he loved to fly. Recollections in this detailed biography include memories from family members, schoolmates, and veteran smoke jumpers, pilots, and astronauts.

Smoke Jumper, Moon Pilot tells the story of a focused, determined, and patriotic youngster who believed in the American dream, and grew up to live it. Back cover:

At the age of 19, Stu Roosa was parachuting into the woods of the Pacific Northwest to fight forest fires.

• He joined the Air Force.
• He became a test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base.
• He was selected to be an astronaut by NASA.
• He went to the Moon.
• He became a successful businessman and big game hunter.

This is the family-authorized biography of Apollo 14 Command Module Pilot Stuart A. Roosa (1933-1994). It's the quintessential, All-American chronicle of the life of an Oklahoma farm boy whose initiative, drive and personal integrity earned him a place among the 24 individuals who made the most dramatic voyage in human history, and it's a story that needs to be told, now more than ever.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935001768
  • Publisher: Acclaim Press
  • Publication date: 11/7/2011
  • Sales rank: 702,271
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

A self-described "child of the Space Race," author/columnist/lecturer Willie G. Moseley came of age in Montgomery, Alabama during the original Civil Rights Movement. But while he paid attention to the historical changes that were unfolding in the Deep South in the Sixties (and would write about such occurrences decades later), he was, like millions of other people around the globe, fascinated by the primeval efforts of the human species to journey into outer space, and he also paid close attention to the events that were taking place on the Atlantic coast of Florida and somewhere inside the Soviet Union.
Moseley is the senior writer for Vintage Guitar Magazine. He began writing for that periodical in 1989, and in the ensuing decades, has interviewed hundreds of guitar players and builders. He also presently serves as News Editor/columnist/photographer for The Tallassee Tribune. He has been collecting guitars (with a current emphasis on basses and custom-made instruments) since 1972.
Willie resides in central Alabama with his wife Gail, daughter Elizabeth, and their pet Schnauzhund, "Josie."
This is his eighth book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Willie Moseley’s Smoke Jumper, Moon Pilot brings to life t

    Willie Moseley’s Smoke Jumper, Moon Pilot brings to life the story of a hero and a man. One of only 24 men who flew to the moon and only one of six flying truly alone on the backside of the moon many times over – devoid of any human contact comes to life in this extraordinary reading. Moseley’s journalistic background draws the best from the subject’s family, friends, fellow astronauts and those closest that knew this quiet hero so well. From a rustic childhood, to smoke jumper in forest fires, to Air Force pilot, to astronaut, businessman and big game hunter – the author makes this remarkable man’s life so compelling and remarkably human. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys non-fiction heroics and a good read.

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  • Posted June 15, 2012

    An A+ account of a rare trip to the moon

    This book is a very nice biography of one of the 24 men to have visited the moon. Stewart Roosa was one of the Apollo astronauts who never had the chance to write his own account of going to the moon. He did talk about the journey in many presentations and Willie Moseley has interviewed many of Col. Roosa’s family, friends, colleagues and fellow astronauts. Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the only surviving prime crew member and Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 14 is also a valuable contributor to this book.

    Willie spends some time on Stuart’s early years and his brief time as a smoke jumper. Although that part of Stuart’s life was short; he was drawn into the job because of his love of nature. The experience did weave throughout the rest of his life, even his mission to Earth’s moon. Willie documents this tread very well and in an interesting and entertaining manner.

    Willie took on the project because Command Module Pilots and their part of the moon missions is a little under represented in the autobiographies and biographies of our space program. Michael Collins’ “Carrying the Fire” is a notable exception. Willie’s journalist background serves him well in completing this book. He covers a lot of ground and gives a very good account of Stewart Roosa’s life and his mission. It is documented very well and covers much of what is known to space readers to keep the story complete but also reveals some new and valuable information to anyone interested in the United States Space program. I do recommend this book to new readers into the space program as well as those who try to get every new account published.

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