Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Jun 23, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
30 Reviews
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.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
13
4 stars
15
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: Failure is not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond

User Review  - Robert Sutherland - Goodreads

Told from the perspective of a mission control Flight Controller, FNO is a good behind the scenes look at the space program from Mercury to Apollo. It was an educational if somewhat wooden telling of ... Read full review

Review: Failure is not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond

User Review  - Rob - Goodreads

I saw a review of this book in a magazine somewhere, and I asked for it for Christmas from my sister. I got it sure enough, and I put it on the shelf for many years. Just recently I decided to read it ... Read full review

Contents

The FourInch Flight
11
Liftoff the Clock Is Running
36
God Speed John Glenn
56
The Brotherhood
78
The Making of a Rocket Man
101
GeminiThe Twins
119
White Flight
132
The Spirit of 76
153
The Christmas Story
234
1969The Year of Apollo
247
SimSup Wins the Final Round
256
We Copy You Down Eagle
272
What the Hell Was That?
296
Coming Home
325
Shepards Return
340
The Last Liftoff
372

The Angry Alligator
175
A Fire on the Pad
191
Out of the Ashes
208
The X Mission
223
Where They Are
385
Index
399
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Eugene F. Kranz joined the NASA Space Task Group in 1960 and was Assistant Flight Director for Project Mercury (the original manned space missions). He continued as Flight Director for the Apollo 11 lunar landing. He is a co-recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work leading the Apollo 13 teams. Failure Is Not an Option is his first book. He lives with his family near Houston, Texas.

Bibliographic information