Agent Palmer

Of all things Geek. I am…

‘Rocketman’ tells story of bad boy astronaut Pete Conrad, a true original

Rocketman Pete Conrad Book Review

Pete Conrad’s biography is not a cookie-cutter story. Then again, there was nothing cookie-cutter about him. He was, as his headstone implies, “An Original.” Co-written by his second wife Nancy Conrad and Howard A. Klausner, the writer of Space Cowboys, this biography is presented cinematically, but it would have been a thrilling ride anyway.

Honestly, if ever you needed proof that you can have fun and enjoy a serious job with a smile on your face, then Pete Conrad is exhibit A for astronauts.

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No garbage in “Dr. Space Junk” exploration of modern archaeology

Dr Space Jnk vs The Universe Book Review

In a nutshell, Dr. Space Junk vs The Universe by Alice Gorman tells the very non-linear origin story of Dr. Space Junk herself. Don’t let that narrative twist turn you away. It’s a tale filled not with missteps and mistakes but with the understanding that what you want now may not be what you want later. It’s also quite a philosophy and history book, too.

Let’s start with author Alice Gorman, a space archaeologist who is writing a book with the subtitle “Archaeology and the Future.”

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If You can Only Read the Autobiography of One Mercury Seven Astronaut, Make it DEKE!

DEKE US Manned Space from Mercury to the Shuttle

Donald K. “Deke” Slayton may not be the household name he should be, but he has had a hand in shaping history as we have come to know it. He was one of the original Mercury Seven, unfortunately, he was the one who didn’t get a flight, but he did eventually make it into space, and in the meantime, he ran the Astronaut Office, and the story for how he got there, his impressions, his knowledge, perspective, and his stories, are second to none.

All of this is what makes Deke! worth your time.

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Fighting for Space is not Jackie Cochran vs. Jerrie Cobb, but it’s a compelling duality

Fighting for Space by Amy Shira Teitel

Amy Shira Teitel’s Fighting for Space: Two Pilots and Their Historic Battle for Female Spaceflight features two characters who, while separated by 25 years in age, both lead the way for Sally Ride, but it wasn’t a smooth flight.

It’s compelling in the most dramatic of ways, and not just because the space program NASA had at the start consisted of “a bunch of rockets with a tendency to explode.” And despite a rallying cry of wanting the first woman in space to be American, it was Valentina Tereshkova from the Soviet Union who got there first.

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Chris Kraft Takes You Behind the Origin of Mission Control in his Autobiography Flight: My Life In Mission Control

Flight My Life in Mission Control by Chris Kraft

When you read as much on the subject of early NASA even back to the Space Task Group, predecessor to NASA, there are a few names that always come up, and one of them is Chris Kraft.

He was basically the father of what would become Mission Control as we know it today, and in his autobiography Flight: My Life in Mission Control, the first NASA Flight Director, known simply as Flight, holds no punches.

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