Fallen Astronauts: Heroes who Died Reaching for the Moon

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U of Nebraska Press, Dec 1, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
Near the end of the Apollo 15 mission, David Scott and fellow moonwalker James Irwin conducted a secret ceremony unsanctioned by NASA: they placed on the lunar soil a small tin figurine called ?The Fallen Astronaut,? along with a plaque bearing a list of names. This book enriches the saga of mankind?s greatest scientific undertaking, Project Apollo, and conveys the human cost of the space race°?°by telling the stories of those sixteen astronauts and cosmonauts who died reaching for the moon. ° Many people are aware of the Apollo launch pad disaster in which three men lost their lives, but few know of the other five fallen astronauts whose stories this book tells as well: among them, Ted Freeman and C.C. Williams, who died in the crashes of their -38 jets; the ?Gemini Twins,? Charlie Bassett and Elliot See, killed when their jet slammed into the building where their Gemini capsule was undergoing final construction; and Ed Givens, whose fatal car crash has until now been obscured by rumors. The extraordinary lives and accomplishments of these and other fallen astronauts ?°including eight Russian cosmonauts who lost their lives during training ?°unfold here in intimate and compelling detail, supported by extensive interviews and archival material. Their stories return us to a stirring time in the history of our nation and remind us of the cost of fulfilling our dreams.

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Fallen astronauts: heroes who died reaching for the moon

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Eight of America's early astronauts, selected to participate in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, died while employed by NASA. Three of the eight--Roger Chaffee, Gus Grissom and Ed White--are ... Read full review


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Page vii - We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills; because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win — and the others, too.
Page vii - Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.
Page vii - Now it is time to take longer strides — time for a great new American enterprise — time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on Earth.

About the author (2003)

Colin Burgess is the author of books on space flight, including Teacher in Space: Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger Legacy (Nebraska 2000).
Kate Doolan is a co-author of Australia Post?s 1992 International Space Yearbook, Mission to Planet Earth. Bert Vis is a Dutch space analyst who conducts research on the Soviet/CIS Space program.
Captain Eugene A. Cernan lives and works in Texas, and is the author of the The Last Man on the Moon.

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