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Myles Carey

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Anyone have any book recommendations for history of manned and unmanned space fight?

Thanks,
Myles
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Ronald
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FINOA
https://www.amazon.com/Failure-Not-Option-Mission-Control/dp...

Great book!
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Samuel Argento
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CHARIOTS OF APOLLO: https://www.amazon.com/Chariots-Apollo-History-Spacecraft-As...

Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Moon-Perilous-Voyage-Apollo/dp/0...
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Dave Bennett
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If you're interested in a alternate-history you could check out the NASA Trilogy of books by Stephen Baxter.

Starts with Voyage:
"The book depicts a NASA as it might have been in another timeline, one where John F. Kennedy survived the assassination attempt on him on November 22, 1963. After the triumph of the Apollo missions to the Moon, President Nixon decides not to build the space shuttle, but to devote NASA’s resources to a new objective: Mars, by 1986."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyage_(novel)
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Bob Blanchett
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Michael Collins' Carrying the Fire is probably the best autobiography..

Breuer's Race to the moon is great
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Stjepan Mateljan
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The Right Stuff

And there is a movie also:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElzIPn1pXWE
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Tim
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Stipsonov wrote:
The Right Stuff

And there is a movie also:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElzIPn1pXWE


In my opinion, the best book out there on the history of the US space program. The movie is an excellent adaptation of it too.
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Steve
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Here are the ones I have read:

Into Orbit – by the Mercury 7 – gives insight into how manned spaceflight was perceived at its inception. Each of original Mercury 7 wrote a chapter or two, explaining many things we understand well today, but were little understood by members of the public at that time, as well as some technical details of things you might not consider today.

Gherman Titov, first man to spend a day in space – Autobiography. A delightful piece in which Titov’s charisma shines through. Post cold-war revelations clearly showed the white wash of misinformation at the time (no space sickness here), but interesting nonetheless.

Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins. Collins’ overview of the astronaut programme through to Apollo and a little beyond. Collins’ unassuming style shines a light on the very best of his fellow astronauts.

Liftoff by Michael Collins. Quite a bit of crossover with Carrying the Fire, but in Collins’ nice conversational style and continues up to the space shuttle.

Spaceman – by Mike Massimino. A more up to date view focusing on space shuttle operations.

I also have a strange little book called Living In Space by Mitchell R Sharpe which throws light on life support as understood in the early days of spaceflight. Bizarre experimental results on explosive decompression, radiation, g-tolerance abound in this unusual volume - the (unexplained) highlight of which has to be that rabbits' ears recover from burns faster in strong magnetic fields!
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Nim Chimpsky
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In addition to several others already mentioned (like The Right Stuff, which is one of my favorite books), I'd recommend This New Ocean, by William Burrows (though it's quite long, and can be a bit dense at times).
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Myles Carey

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Thank you everyone - nice list - very appreciated, I be checking several of these.

A couple follow-ups...

Anyone read/listen to Dreams of Other Worlds?

This New Ocean looks promising - i'll have to check out the book form - doesn't appear to be out on Audible - so no listening during commute time.

Aside from This New Ocean and Dreams of Other Worlds, anyone have a book on unmanned explorations to recommend?

Thanks again !
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Adam H
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Riding Rockets by Mike Mullane has a great first-hand view of the Shuttle Program. It's also a very entertaining read.
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Live From Cape Canaveral is a good oral history from Jay Barbree, a journalist who was covering the NASA beat for the whole space race period.
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Barry Miller
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And if interested in the technical side of (Apollo era) space flight, I recommend this book. It's written for the non-technical among us, yet is very thorough.

"How Apollo Flew to the Moon", by David Woods

Here's a snippet from the book's description:
"...tells the exciting story of how the resulting Apollo flights were conducted by following a virtual flight to the Moon and its exploration of the surface. From launch to splashdown, ... exploring each step of the journey and detailing the enormous range of disciplines, techniques, and procedures the Apollo crews had to master. ... He provides a wealth of fascinating and accessible material: the role of the powerful Saturn V, the reasoning behind trajectories, the day-to-day concerns of human and spacecraft health between two worlds, the exploration of the lunar surface and the sheer daring involved in traveling to the Moon and the mid-twentieth century."

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Apollo-Flew-Springer-Praxis-Books-ebo...
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Gabriel Conroy
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bgm1961 wrote:

And if interested in the technical side of (Apollo era) space flight, I recommend this book. It's written for the non-technical among us, yet is very thorough.

"How Apollo Flew to the Moon", by David Woods

Here's a snippet from the book's description:
"...tells the exciting story of how the resulting Apollo flights were conducted by following a virtual flight to the Moon and its exploration of the surface. From launch to splashdown, ... exploring each step of the journey and detailing the enormous range of disciplines, techniques, and procedures the Apollo crews had to master. ... He provides a wealth of fascinating and accessible material: the role of the powerful Saturn V, the reasoning behind trajectories, the day-to-day concerns of human and spacecraft health between two worlds, the exploration of the lunar surface and the sheer daring involved in traveling to the Moon and the mid-twentieth century."

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Apollo-Flew-Springer-Praxis-Books-ebo...


Was about to recommend the same book. Its excellent.
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Robert Haight
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Given the math element of the game, the first book I thought of was Hidden Figures. I recommend both the book and the movie.
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Gabriel Conroy
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achates wrote:
bgm1961 wrote:

And if interested in the technical side of (Apollo era) space flight, I recommend this book. It's written for the non-technical among us, yet is very thorough.

"How Apollo Flew to the Moon", by David Woods

Here's a snippet from the book's description:
"...tells the exciting story of how the resulting Apollo flights were conducted by following a virtual flight to the Moon and its exploration of the surface. From launch to splashdown, ... exploring each step of the journey and detailing the enormous range of disciplines, techniques, and procedures the Apollo crews had to master. ... He provides a wealth of fascinating and accessible material: the role of the powerful Saturn V, the reasoning behind trajectories, the day-to-day concerns of human and spacecraft health between two worlds, the exploration of the lunar surface and the sheer daring involved in traveling to the Moon and the mid-twentieth century."

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Apollo-Flew-Springer-Praxis-Books-ebo...


Was about to recommend the same book. Its excellent.


Actually to follow up on this, the whole line of books by Springer/Praxis on the history of spaceflight, manned and robotic, is worth looking at. I also have three volumes covering the robotic exploration of the Solar System, a great companion to Outer Planets.

E.g. vol. 1: http://www.springer.com/gb/book/9780387493268
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Andy
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macgruff wrote:
In addition to several others already mentioned (like The Right Stuff, which is one of my favorite books), I'd recommend This New Ocean, by William Burrows (though it's quite long, and can be a bit dense at times).

I'd just like to add that there are two 'sequels' to this (i.e. histories commissioned by NASA), for Gemini and Apollo:
- On the Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini - Hacker & Grimwood
- Where No Man Has Gone Before: A History of Apollo Lunar Exploration Missions - Compton
 
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Ernie Olsen
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I second, "How Apollo Flew to the Moon", by David Woods. If you like "Leaving Earth" you'll love this book. If you balk at testing your Saturn boosters three times, you'll be astounded at how many times the real Saturn V boosters were tested before they risked a manned flight with them. The book describes not only the development of the technologies, but also the development of the flight path to the moon. Did you know the Apollo rockets did not actually fly "to" the moon? When they go to the moon they are actually in a very large elliptical orbit around the Earth and the moon comes to them! Interesting discussion on how to navigate accurately in space when both the Earth and Moon are moving objects. Highly recommended.
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Barry Miller
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Mellonhead3013 wrote:
When they go to the moon they are actually in a very large elliptical orbit around the Earth and the moon comes to them!

Yeah, that's a great point!

 
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Casey Davis
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Hidden Figures and Rise of the Rocket Girls tell the stories of the women running the calculations that made the flights possible.

The Praxis Manned Spaceflight Log is an excellent catalog of all the missions flown between 1961 and 2006, with plenty of details on crew, goals, accomplishments, mishaps, "firsts," etc.

We Seven is a fascinating collection of essays written by the original seven Mercury test pilots. My favorite bit is John Glenn's write-up of a certain (uncrewed) test launch that went hilariously, if expensively, wrong: the main engine fired, the rocket lifted a few inches off the pad, and then, due to one tiny problem in the way the electronics were connected, the main engine shut down, the rocket fell back down to the pad, the launch-escape-system rocket detached and fired off, all the parachutes deployed, and the radio sent out a message to the navy requesting a pick-up, all at once. Whoops!
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Tuomas Takala
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This is a little off-topic (the OP asked for BOOKS), but I have to add that there is an German podcast show called Omegatau. The presenter Markus Voelter does most of the episodes in English, and David Woods has been the guest in three shows, talking about his books, Apollo program and Saturn V. And, in case you like these, there are many more interesting episodes about the Space Shuttle, satellites, astronomy, fighter planes...

You'll find the episodes with Woods here: http://omegataupodcast.net/tag/apollo. But be sure to check other episodes as well.

OK, I have one book to add, though I haven't read it yet (it's very near the top of my to-read list, however ). It's Wernher von Braun : the man who sold the moon by Dennis Piszkiewicz.

And while I'm here, why not promote one of my favourite authors: Dennis Jenkins. His book on the X-15, Hypersonic: The Story of the North American X-15 is a great history of this less-known facet of manned spaceflight. I just read it for the second time, and somehow Jenkins' style just works for me. He clearly loves this plane and the whole era.
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Bob Blanchett
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I've also just come across four volumes of Rockets and People by Boris Chertok from the NASA History Project.

It covers his career as a Electrical engineer with the Red Army in WW2 through to the Moon
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Gerry Smit
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I got the Steve Baxter as e-books for my birthday, and I'm just into the first chapter of Voyages.

WOW! It reads like a "Leaving Earth" game. Well almost. You'd almost think that the game inspired the author, or the book inspired the designer.

Seriously, they're testing Saturn V with strap on Solid Rocket Boosters, NERVA nuclear engines (Ion Drives) and working out how to get to Mars.

If you like Alt-History Speculative Fiction, you'll want to read this.
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