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Falling to Earth: An Apollo 15 Astronaut's Journey to the Moon

av Al WORDEN, Francis FRENCH (Författare), Dick GORDON (Förord), Tom STAFFORD (Epilogue)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1025211,981 (3.94)9
The author describes his life, from his early years growing up on a farm to his years as an astronaut with NASA, including flying the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971.

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Visar 5 av 5
I agree with previous reviews. This is a thorough retelling of Al Worden's experience from childhood through his retirement from NASA after traveling to the moon. He accepts responsibility for his mistakes and gives credit to many family members, pilots, astronauts, and NASA administrators for his successes. It would be a bit slow for anyone who isn't interested in space exploration and the history of NASA, but this biography fits right in with others astronaut biographies and historical books on space exploration. It certainly helped me understand the very broad education and skill set an astronaut was expected to have in the 1970s. ( )
  meltonmarty | Jul 14, 2019 |
A fascinating insight to the Apollo program from one of the less well-known astronauts, Al Worden, command module pilot (CMP) for Apollo 15. Col Worden reflects on his training and preparation prior to being selected for NASA, his fellow astronauts, and experiences in the program and afterward, including the aftermath of the First Day Cover scandal.
This book is quite personal and easy to read. Al Worden doesn't gloss over his past but is brutally open and honest about the path that led him to being "the most isolated human being" (per Guinness) and the first person to perform an extra-vehicular activity (spacewalk) outside Earth orbit as well as the breakdown of his first marriage and aftermath of the stamp scandal. ( )
  Omnigeek | Jul 25, 2018 |
Al Worden writes a candid book about his life, becoming an astronaut, flying to the moon and back, the scandal that ended his career, and his life afterwards.

I'm a space geek - I'm the first to admit I don't understand most of the science, but being born in '76 and being a kid growing up with the Teacher in Space program - and the horrifying Challenger disaster, which is the Kennedy moment of my generation - I'm fascinated with the space program. I've read probably a dozen books by other astronauts and knew about the scandal with the postal books.

The book is interesting - growing up and working on a farm, his early career days, and how suddenly he ended up an astronaut. The reason I give this book 4 stars is because Worden makes excuses an awful lot for alot of things he does, rationalizing everything from being a bad father (well you know, I'm in training to fly to the moon) and being a bad husband (well, you know, I'm in training to fly to the moon) and rationalizes his way through the fact that he got paid money to bring souvenirs to the moon, something that naturally leaves a bad taste in this tax payer's mouth. He naturally was proved innocent in the end and his career was redeemed, along with his reputation, but the rationalizing still bothered me enough to rate this one 4 stars.

( )
  anastaciaknits | Oct 29, 2016 |
Pretty workmanlike autobiography of Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden. Interesting but not overwhelmingly so. Two parts did stand out though. First, his description of the moon mission he participated in was very well written and did an effective job of putting the reader in that place and time. And second, his recounting of the postal cover scandal was interesting and provided a perspective that did not get much play at the time. If you are a space buff like me you will enjoy this...if not it is a bit of a slog. ( )
  mybucketlistofbooks | Jan 10, 2015 |
Decades later, I am still angry. Upset at myself and others. It seemed like an insignificant thing at the time, when I was concentrating on flying and science preparations for the mission. But eventually it overwhelmed all the good work that we did and ruined my career.

Al Worden was a poor Michigan farm boy who became the first astronaut to perform a deep-space spacewalk. As command module pilot for Apollo 15, he spent six days orbiting the Moon all alone and performed dozens of science experiments during that time. Worden gives us details of the experience of weightlessness, how he feared he would make a fool of himself when he stepped on to that aircraft carrier because he had forgotten how to use his legs. In just two weeks his brain had rewired itself - even days after his return to Earth, he would push off a table with his hand and expect to move around the room. But Worden also tells of another experience few others have had - that of a disgraced astronaut.

Early astronauts were granted several perks - deals for Corvettes, contracts with LIFE and low, low mortgage rates. Business men were falling over themselves to be associated with NASA and the astronauts themselves were keen to supplement their military-grade pay. Flight crews were approached with opportunities to pack small things into their 'personal preference kit' (their luggage so to speak) that could be sold later. Personal objects taken up on flights were all vetted and approved by Deke Slayton, director of flight operations, and he tried to allow the men as much latitude as possible. It was after the Apollo 15 mission that the Senate decided to look into the issue of 'flown objects' becoming available on the collector's market. It wasn't that this crew was the first to try to make a buck off souvenirs, it wasn't that they tried to sneak things on-board their capsule without permission, it was just bad timing. NASA was a boy's club - but the boys at the top knew when to cut their losses - and Worden was sacrificed.

Even then, Worden does not lose himself in his bad fortune - this book is no pity party. He found a corner of aerospace to keep his hand in. He remarried. He ran for Congress. And many years later, he found the grace to raise money for an astronaut scholarship program - which ironically has him working closely with NASA. Falling is an interesting journey told in an engaging manner. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to those interested in spaceflight memoirs. ( )
  VictoriaPL | Nov 11, 2012 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
WORDEN, Alprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
FRENCH, FrancisFörfattarehuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
GORDON, DickFörordhuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
STAFFORD, TomEpiloguehuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
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The author describes his life, from his early years growing up on a farm to his years as an astronaut with NASA, including flying the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971.

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