The Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America's Race in Space

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The basis of the 2014 award-winning feature-length documentary! A revealing and dramatic look at the inside of the American Space Program from one of its pioneers.

Eugene Cernan was a unique American who came of age as an astronaut during the most exciting and dangerous decade of spaceflight. His career spanned the entire Gemini and Apollo programs, from being the first person to spacewalk all the way around our world to the moment when he left man's last footprint on the Moon as commander of Apollo 17.

Between those two historic events lay more adventures than an ordinary person could imagine as Cernan repeatedly put his life, his family and everything he held dear on the altar of an obsessive desire. Written with New York Times bestselling author Don Davis, The Last Man on the Moon is the astronaut story never before told - about the fear, love and sacrifice demanded of the few men who dared to reach beyond the heavens for the biggest prize of all - the Moon.

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About the author

Eugene Cernan (1934-2017) flew in space three times, twice to the moon. He was the pilot of Gemini 9, lunar module pilot on Apollo 10, and commander of Apollo 17. He is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, military awards, and civilian honors, ranging from selection to the U.S. Space Hall of Fame to a television Emmy.

Donald A. Davis is the author and co-author of more than 20 books, including New York Times bestseller Shooter, the Kyle Swanson Sniper Novels, and Lightning Strike. He lives outside Boulder, Colorado.

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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Apr 1, 2007
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781429971782
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Science & Technology
Technology & Engineering / Aeronautics & Astronautics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Soon to be a major motion picture, this is the first—and only—definitive authorized account of Neil Armstrong, the man whose “one small step” changed history.

When Apollo 11 touched down on the Moon’s surface in 1969, the first man on the Moon became a legend. In First Man, author James R. Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over fifty hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this “magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) is an unparalleled biography of an American icon.

In this “compelling and nuanced portrait” (Chicago Tribune) filled with revelations, Hansen vividly recreates Armstrong’s career in flying, from his seventy-eight combat missions as a naval aviator flying over North Korea to his formative trans-atmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to his piloting Gemini VIII to the first-ever docking in space. For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong’s storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children. For the near-fifty years since the Moon landing, rumors have swirled around Armstrong concerning his dreams of space travel, his religious beliefs, and his private life.

A penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and as an individual. “First Man burrows deep into Armstrong’s past and present…What emerges is an earnest and brave man” (Houston Chronicle) who will forever be known as history’s most famous space traveler.
From the age of ten, looking up at the stars, Jerry Ross knew that he wanted to journey into space. This autobiography tells the story of how he came not only to achieve that goal, but to become the most-launched astronaut in history, as well as a NASA veteran whose career spanned the entire U.S. Space Shuttle program. From his childhood in rural Indiana, through education at Purdue University, and a career in the U.S. Air Force, Ross charted a path to NASA after overcoming many setbacks, from failing to qualify for Air Force pilot training because of "bad" eyesight, to an initial failure to be selected into the astronaut program. The majority of the book is an insider's account of the U.S. Space Shuttle program, including the unforgettable experience of launch, the delights of weightless living, and the challenges of constructing the International Space Station. Ross is a uniquely qualified narrator. During seven spaceflights, he spent 1,393 hours in space, including 58 hours and 18 minutes on nine space walks. Life on the ground is also described, including the devastating experiences of the Challenger and Columbia disasters. For readers who have followed the space program from Mercury through the International Space Station and wonder what comes next, this book provides fascination; for young people interested in space exploration and reaching for their dreams, whatever they might be, this book provides inspiration. Full of stories of spaceflight that few humans have ever experienced, told with humor and honesty, Spacewalker presents a unique perspective on the hard work, determination, and faith necessary to travel beyond this world.

Key Points: -An insider's account of the U.S. Space Shuttle program, from before its first launch through the final landing, and the building of the International Space Station. -A firsthand account of life in space from the first human to fly seven missions. -An inspirational story of a personal journey from rural Indiana to outer space, powered by a deep Christian faith.

Growing up on either side of the Iron Curtain, David Scott and Alexei Leonov experienced very different childhoods but shared the same dream to fly.

Excelling in every area of mental and physical agility, Scott and Leonov became elite fighter pilots and were chosen by their countries' burgeoning space programs to take part in the greatest technological race ever-to land a man on the moon.

In this unique dual autobiography, astronaut Scott and cosmonaut Leonov recount their exceptional lives and careers spent on the cutting edge of science and space exploration. With each mission fraught with perilous risks, and each space program touched by tragedy, these parallel tales of adventure and heroism read like a modern-day thriller. Cutting fast between their differing recollections, this book reveals, in a very personal way, the drama of one of the most ambitious contests ever embarked on by man, set against the conflict that once held the world in suspense: the clash between Russian communism and Western democracy.

Before training to be the USSR's first man on the moon, Leonov became the first man to walk in space. It was a feat that won him a place in history but almost cost him his life. A year later, in 1966, Gemini 8, with David Scott and Neil Armstrong aboard, tumbled out of control across space. Surviving against dramatic odds-a split-second decision by pilot Armstrong saved their lives-they both went on to fly their own lunar missions: Armstrong to command Apollo 11 and become the first man to walk on the moon, and Scott to perform an EVA during the Apollo 9 mission and command the most complex expedition in the history of exploration, Apollo 15. Spending three days on the moon, Scott became the seventh man to walk on its breathtaking surface.

Marking a new age of USA/USSR cooperation, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project brought Scott and Leonov together, finally ending the Cold War silence and building a friendship that would last for decades.

Their courage, passion for exploration, and determination to push themselves to the limit emerge in these memoirs not only through their triumphs but also through their perseverance in times of extraordinary difficulty and danger.

On February 1, 1978, the first group of space shuttle astronauts, twenty-nine men and six women, were introduced to the world. Among them would be history makers, including the first American woman and the first African American in space. This assembly of astronauts would carry NASA through the most tumultuous years of the space shuttle program. Four would die on Challenger.

USAF Colonel Mike Mullane was a member of this astronaut class, and Riding Rockets is his story -- told with a candor never before seen in an astronaut's memoir. Mullane strips the heroic veneer from the astronaut corps and paints them as they are -- human. His tales of arrested development among military flyboys working with feminist pioneers and post-doc scientists are sometimes bawdy, often hilarious, and always entertaining.

Mullane vividly portrays every aspect of the astronaut experience -- from telling a female technician which urine-collection condom size is a fit; to walking along a Florida beach in a last, tearful goodbye with a spouse; to a wild, intoxicating, terrifying ride into space; to hearing "Taps" played over a friend's grave. Mullane is brutally honest in his criticism of a NASA leadership whose bungling would precipitate the Challenger disaster.

Riding Rockets is a story of life in all its fateful uncertainty, of the impact of a family tragedy on a nine-year-old boy, of the revelatory effect of a machine called Sputnik, and of the life-steering powers of lust, love, and marriage. It is a story of the human experience that will resonate long after the call of "Wheel stop."
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.
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