Agent Palmer

Of all things Geek. I am…

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.

Declassify >

After All this Time The Right Stuff Still Inspires Despite Historical Inaccuracies

The Right Stuff Still Inspires

It’s possible there exist plenty of places on the internet where you can read about the historical inaccuracies and inconsistencies in The Right Stuff. This is not really that place. I chose to overlook that and focus on one very important thing they got right. It is an inspiring story of the early tribulations of America’s space program, and to this day, it’s still an inspiring watch.

I have not yet read Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff on which the film was based, though it is making its way to the top of my list.

Declassify >

The Eagle Has Landed: Building the LEGO Lunar Lander

It has been three years since I last built my Lego Saturn V Rocket. And in that time I have read seven books about people who have worked around or taken a ride in a Saturn V.

Of those only a few were by men who had actually ridden in the rocket and even fewer had spent time in the Lunar Excursion Model, or LEM, or as LEGO calls it, the Lunar Lander.

Declassify >

“Lost Moon” retitled “Apollo 13” by Jim Lovell & Jeffrey Kluger is an Incredible Read

Apollo 13 Book Review Previously titled Lost Moon Jim Lovell

Around the time that the film adaptation of Lost Moon, called Apollo 13 came out, my parents who knew I was in love with all things NASA bought me the book by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger.

The book, in a concerted marketing effort with the movie was also retitled from Lost Moon to Apollo 13 and with a picture of not Lovell but Tom Hanks as Lovell on the front cover. And while I read the book, or read through it when I picked it up recently, I now had the knowledge of the other books I’ve been reading.

Declassify >

Kranz’s Failure is Not an Option is a Great Look Back and a Kick in the Pants To Get Going Again

Failure is Not An Option by Gene Kranz Book Review

There is much more to Gene Kranz than Ed Harris’s portrayal of the Flight Director in the movie Apollo 13. As one of the early members of Flight Control, Kranz was there for Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo before moving up into more of a management role.

His book “Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond” is not only a vivid first-hand account of history as it happened, but the perspective is unique to mission control…

Declassify >