Hello again! Just curious, what are your favorite astronaut biographies?
In no particular order:
Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins - because I would be legally arrested if I forgot to mention it, and because I want to write like him one day
Riding Rockets by Mike Mullane - most famous for its hilarity, but also important because of being all-around great at everything - the writing, the history, and the ability to make you feel every single emotion possible
Deke! by Deke Slayton with Michael Cassutt - The book has a great deal of new, extremely important NASA history information, and it also has one of the most distinctive first-person “voices” that I’ve ever read, including fiction and non-fiction
Light This Candle by Neal Thompson - This book made you feel like “you were there” during the many incredible experiences of Alan Shepard’s life, and not just the space stuff, either. Especially good because it contains a ton of primary research (i.e. he didn’t just copy passages from other space books, he went out and independently interviewed a ton of people)
The All-American Boys, Walt Cunningham - Often overshadowed by Carrying the Fire, this book contains ALL THE GOSSIP about the astronaut office
Falling to Earth, Al Worden with Francis French - One of the newer titles here, this book is well-written and a good read, and also gives the long-awaited “real” story behind the Apollo 15 stamp scandal
That’s all I can think of right now…I know I left someone out!
Did you ever read Chris Kraft's book? I recently finished it and I'm still excited about it because it was so good!
I did, and I’m glad you liked it! I liked it as well, and I honestly need to reread it again.
For those who haven’t read it, Chris Kraft’s bio is a must-read for several reasons:
He had an interesting life pre-NASA
He was “the Father of Mission Control” and one of the leaders of NASA at beginnings. He was able to witness and influence so much, and he observed a lot of the behind-the-scenes action. But the book is most memorable because…
…he throws so much shade at people. This book is Tumblr Famous for all the gossip he dishes out and all of the Chris Kraft Rage (TM) that he unleashes. Scott Carpenter is the most notorious example (he got a chapter and then some), but there are scores of others: various NASA leadership, other astronauts, and really anyone who crossed his path. (He explicitly stated that when he met Wernher von Braun, he wanted to punch him in the face.)
But I’d love to hear your favorite parts! Has anyone else read Flight: My Life In Mission Control? If so, what did you think?
Do you know if aerospace cabins are pure oxygen environments at all times? Do they purposely put carbon dioxide or any other gas in to slow the rate of combustion? Or are all other gases constantly being cycled out and oxygen cycled in?
This article about environmental control systems in airplanes will probably answer your question in-depth.