Picture of author.
6 teosta 713 jäsentä 12 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

Mike Mullane was commissioned in the USAF, and flew 134 combat missions in Vietnam

Sisältää nimet: mikemullane, R. Mike Mullane

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons (Photo created by NASA)

Tekijän teokset

Merkitty avainsanalla

Yleistieto

Syntymäaika
1945-09-10
Sukupuoli
male
Kansalaisuus
USA
Ammatit
NASA astronaut (former)

Jäseniä

Kirja-arvosteluja

Rating an autobiography is a little trickier than rating almost any other kind of book. How much of one's reaction is a reaction to the book's subject/author? In this case, I know that my three-star rating is as much a reaction to astronaut Mike Mullane as to his writing. I'm pretty sure I would not have enjoyed being on a Space Shuttle crew with him. But that said, he does exquisitely capture the excitement, anxiety, and fear that astronaut's feel while waiting for launch. He paints wonderful images of what Earth looks like from orbit. And he pulls no punches in describing the astronaut culture of the 80s and 90s. (In the last chapter, he says that apparently NASA astronauts these days are a lot more straight-arrow and 'boring'.)

So on the one hand: the writing is good. On the other, the subject/author is a challenge to like. Depending upon how you handle reading autobiographies, you may or may not enjoy this book. Unfortunately, that's as clear as I can be.
… (lisätietoja)
 
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Treebeard_404 | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 23, 2024 |
In Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut, NASA Space Shuttle Astronaut Richard Michael “Mike” Mullane (STA-41-D, STS-27, STS-36) recounts his experiences from childhood through his time in the Air Force and NASA. Mullane was part of the NASA class of 1978 – nicknamed TFNG for “Thirty-Five New Guys” (or a less polite name in private) – which also included Sally Ride, Guion Bluford, and Ellison Onizuka, the first American woman, African American, and Asian-American in space, respectively. Mullane’s memoir holds nothing back, with his military boys’ culture recalling elements of Tom Wolfe’s account in The Right Stuff. He explains how this caused conflicts with NASA’s first class of women astronauts as the agency while also critiquing the management of NASA in the 1980s, blaming the eventual Challenger disaster and other safety oversights on management’s complacency that filtered down through all echelons of the organization. In Mullane’s view, the hype surrounding the Shuttle led to shortcuts and complacency in the name of operational status, resulting in seats opening to “part-time” astronauts in the name of publicity (pg. 206). Mullane’s extensive experience informs his conclusions. Over the course of his three flights, Mullane logged 356 hours of spaceflight in addition to his years in the Air Force. Further, his close friendship with Judy Resnick shapes his anger regarding NASA’s complacency prior to the Challenger disaster. That said, he acknowledges how the lure of flight is enough to make it all worthwhile for the astronauts themselves, despite his criticism of upper management. Mullane’s Riding Rockets will appeal to spaceflight enthusiasts, in particular those looking to learn more about the early Shuttle program and the cultural changes at NASA that surrounded it.… (lisätietoja)
½
 
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DarthDeverell | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 10, 2021 |
This book offers an interesting insight into the world of space travel aboard the Space Shuttle. I found the description of the Challenger disaster in 1986 especially chilling. I was under the impression that the shuttle (including passenger cockpit) exploded shortly after launch. The truth is that the shuttle broke apart, and the cockpit probably remained intact until its impact with the ocean.
Mike Mullane described the feeling of being inside this fortress of a cockpit trying to make it fly with no lift, no indicators, no communication, only utter silence as it reached its highest point then began falling to the ocean. The disaster is famous because of schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. Here, however, I found out that another woman astronaut lost her life on this mission. Judith Resnick was on her second mission.
There are many personal anecdotes from Mike Mullane who does not hide the fact of misogynistic and pigheaded male tendencies he started out with in the Air Force.
A woman astronaut would have had extremely difficult among the males in those days before PC became obligatory. The book drags at times with descriptive prose but in all a very edifying read that gives an honest glimpse into the unflattering (and dangerous) aspects of space flights, in addition to the primitive workings of male brains. Mike Mullane did not shy away from the details you wondered about but never dared to ask, like the toilet habits of astronauts. In fact, he starts the first chapter already with TMI about preparing for his first proctosigmoidoscopy. Good book if you have the interest and the time.
Looking now at the risks taken by these people, who pitted themselves against the elemental laws of physics and gravity, while armed only with nascent technology that proved at times fatal, is nothing short of breathtaking.
… (lisätietoja)
 
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moukayedr | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 5, 2021 |
What it says on the tin—Mullane is a mostly unrepentant sexist who wants you to take his acknowledgement that his sexism is unwarranted as sufficient excuse for hearing him recite it in a way that makes clear that he's only distancing himself from it now because he knows potential readers will dislike it. Because I’m basically inured to this kind of thing, I could read the rest of the book, which does effectively convey his excitement at the opportunity to be an astronaut, his frustration with NASA politics and the decisions that led to the Challenger disaster, and his other adventures.… (lisätietoja)
 
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rivkat | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 16, 2019 |

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