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

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This memoir of a veteran NASA flight director tells riveting stories from the early days of the Mercury program through Apollo 11 (the moon landing) and Apollo 13, for both of which Kranz was flight director.

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 years when rockets blew up and the United States seemed to fall further behind the Soviet Union in the space race. He helped to launch Alan Shepard and John Glenn, then assumed the flight director’s role in the Gemini program, which he guided to fruition. With his teammates, he accepted the challenge to carry out President John F. Kennedy’s commitment to land a man on the Moon before the end of the 1960s.

Kranz recounts these thrilling historic events and offers new information about the famous flights. What appeared as nearly flawless missions to the Moon were, in fact, a series of hair-raising near misses. When the space technology failed, as it sometimes did, the controllers’ only recourse was to rely on their skills and those of their teammates. He reveals behind-the-scenes details to demonstrate the leadership, discipline, trust, and teamwork that made the space program a success.

A fascinating firsthand account by a veteran mission controller of one of America’s greatest achievements, Failure is Not an Option reflects on what has happened to the space program and offers his own bold suggestions about what we ought to be doing in space now.

Title:Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780425179871
Format Type:

    Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond Reviews

  • Joyce McCombs

    I'm the daughter of a space guy... Dad worked on the Lunar Rover and various Apollo mission components as part of Boeing in Seattle. As a child of the 60's, we were rousted out of bed many an early mo...

  • Greg

    Ultimately this book was just OK...I was very interested in reading about the early NASA programs from the perspective of someone on the ground instead of one of the astronauts, and it definitely deli...

  • Crystal Starr Light

    Read this in my teenaged years - loved it! Gene Kranz is one of my space heroes....

  • Hadrian

    A personal account of the US space program, starting with the early years of the Redstone rocket launches through the end of the Apollo program in December 1972. Kranz's responsibilities were in the d...

  • Deanna

    Just for aficionados of space flight history. Invaluable to the historical record. Engaging. Not a particularly personal memoir, yet by the end I felt I knew Kranz quite well. Absolutely this will be ...

  • Elizabeth (Alaska)

    Last year when my great granddaughter was born, I started writing letters to her every month. I do not live near her, and this would be my way of sharing family stories and whatever else I might think...

  • Heather Domin

    I actually put off finishing this because I didn't want it to be over. I'm not really sure how to review it, except to say that if you're a space geek, this is pretty much exactly how you would expect...

  • Kathryn

    I've read a number of books on the space race - the time period of Mecury, Gemini and Apollo. I've had a life long interest since I was a child growing up in that era. I give this book four stars beca...

  • Cheryl

    I'd been looking for a read about Neil Armstrong for the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing and instead made the thrilling discovery that Mr. Kranz wrote a book! I just knew I'd like him after seein...

  • Tom

    I picked this as my first "fun book" to read on my Kindle. It was a good read. Kranz was a flight director during the Apollo mission, and is best known to most people as the character played by Ed Har...