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Book Title: The Making Of An Ex Astronaut|
The author of the book: Brian O'Leary
ISBN 13: 9780671772857
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 28.45 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1580 times
Reader ratings: 3.6
Edition: Houghton Mifflin
Date of issue: 1970
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This book provides a unique look at NASA in the years leading up to the Apollo 11 landing. Brian O'Leary was chosen as a part of NASA astronaut group 6, the second group of scientist-astronauts. O'Leary gives engaging descriptions of the NASA selection process and the astronaut office of the 1960's, which I really appreciated.
It seems like the biggest reason why O'Leary quit was the flying requirement. He fixates on the odds of being killed in a jet crash. He is sent to flight school with fellow scientist-astronaut Charlie Parker. O'Leary describes struggling a great deal in flight school, and winds up quitting (While Parker finished and got to fly two Shuttle Spacelab missions.)
That, coupled with his growing awareness there will be no money for all of NASA's post-Apollo grand scientific plans, put the final nail in the coffin. Section IV of the book is O'Leary's retrospective look at Apollo. He is very critical of NASA for sending pilots instead of scientists. He describes some of the early moonwalkers as untrained buffoons, which I think is unfair. He eventually takes the attitude that manned flights are wasteful, and NASA should concentrate on using unmanned probes to accomplish actual science.
In the end, I'm not sure O'Leary had the right temperament to be an astronaut. Knowing he went off the deep end later in his life, eventually dying of untreated cancer, colors my interpretation of his personality.
On a side note, this book was published in French under the title: J'ai refusé d'aller sur la lune. This translates to I Refused To Go To The Moon. Ha! As if Deke were standing by the capsule hatch, waving him in, but O'Leary says "Nope, I don't want to go." The first astronaut in his group didn't fly until 1982, 10 years after the last manned lunar landing.
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