Subjective hits Anglophone space memoirs

This spring, the Russian translation of a book by Chris Hadfield 'Guide astronaut on life on Earth. " It has become quite noticeable in various publications have appeared reviews. Out of the original book in 2013, somehow he passed me, but now I decided to read it. Write a review next one this book is already interesting, so I decided to make English-language hits of space memoirs. Definition of places, of course, subjective, as they say in the Absolute Games, «our opinion can be put (smiling)».

The fifth place. Gene Kranz, «Failure is not an option» h4>

Gene Kranz stood at the very beginning of the manned space program of the United States. Through the efforts of Krantz and his colleagues in the Space Task Group raised US Mission Control Center. At first, he worked as the head of mission management systems, wrote criteria flight readiness. If you remember the stories of the American MCC or movies on the space theme, there often appears roll «Go / No-go» , and so the procedure for doing so Krantz wrote. By the beginning of the flight "Gemini" Gene became deputy head of operations, then the head of operations. In "Apollo" was the head of operations at odd missions, including guided landing "Apollo 11" on the moon. But really it became famous during the mission "Apollo 13" when professional and selfless labor MCC was able to secure the return of astronauts to Earth despite the very serious accident . After completing the program "Apollo" deputy director and then director of the management of space missions. After leaving NASA mission STS-61, which repaired the telescope "Hubble».
Despite the fact that Kranz not say literally "failed to exclude from the list of possibilities!" Was the credo of his work in the MCC, so catch phrase with the filing of the writers of the film "Apollo 13" is widely dispersed around the world, and he made it the title Kranz its memoirs.

The book tells the story of the US manned program by accident «Mercury-Redstone 1", also known as "desyatisantimetrovyh flight" to the last mission to the Moon, "Apollo 17" from a position of Engineer MCC, and then, the head of the Mission. An interesting observation during the mission Krantz took time in another 90 minutes of one loop pass quickly when you need to analyze the flight parameters and decisions.

Why fifth? Despite the fact that the book is not to find fault, I was never able to read it yet. Kranz says qualitatively possible dilutes happening tales, but from reading the spirit grasps. At the same time, if you want to learn more about how emerged and developed manned space program of the United States, which they stuffed bumps and some were able to achieve excellent results, these memoirs is to try to start reading.


  • A unique experience. The history of the US manned space program told from the perspective of the employee MCC.
  • A consistent description of the person with an engineering mindset.
    • No publications in Russian.
    • somewhat dry exposition, want more "human». частично laid on Google Books.

      The fourth place. Chris Hadfield, "Guidelines for the astronauts life on Earth» h4>

      Chris Hadfield made three flights into space, spent most of the time among all Canadian astronauts and became the first and only Canadian commander of the ISS. Also, it is the only Canadian to visit the station "Mir". But perhaps best known as an astronaut, sung space cover of David Bowie's Space Oddity. After returning to Earth in 2013, he retired astronaut and wrote his memoirs. Accordingly, the book tells about the life of Chris, he decided to become an astronaut, builds his life, not to lose this opportunity, was selected to the Canadian Space Agency astronaut, I made two flights on the shuttle and spent six months on the ISS.

      Why is the fourth? In the book, it seems that Hadfield - she is a kind of space exploration. Give him a hand wheel time and he uses it to spend a couple of hundred hours on the training and professional development. It is often told that it is necessary to prepare, and prepare a lot, and this places the book becomes boring and moralistic. First 30-50% of the book I did read through force. Only in the second half of the narrative sometimes it becomes a living, usually when Chris problem starts. The book seems to be smoothed, Hadfield nobody abuses that cast doubt on the fact that he tells us what he thinks. Even a dead friend, he tells the pilot so smoothly that in doubt - whether he had friends at all? On the other hand, the story of training with family situation, "Chris was lost in space" at least partially impressive it is smooth and quiet setting out.


      • The most recent memoirs. If you want to learn how to now live and work on the ISS, this book is worth bearing in mind.
      • There edition in Russian.
        • parts of the book seems boring and edifying.
          Превью books on Google Books

          Third place. Tom Wolfe, «The Right Stuff» h4>

          Tom Wolfe - a journalist who met with the astronauts when on an assignment covered the mission of "Apollo 17". Seen so interested in it that he spent seven years studying the American space program. Initially, Wolfe wanted to write a book about the history of the space program, but as a result he turned a fictionalized story about the test pilots and astronauts first. Most likely, this book spawned trails Space literature - "the difficulties of selecting" "dead friend-pilot", "brotherhood and competition", which can be found in later memoirs. The book became a bestseller on it after only four years removed a great movie of the same name.
          Incidentally, the translation of the name as a "necessary thing" will not do. Right stuff in the book - it is the "right qualities of character", "the right stuff" from which made the test pilots and astronauts. In Russian, this term is not, "the guys that we should" not exactly ideal, but probably the best option.


          • Read as an adventure novel, despite the fact that the book is based on real events.
          • There is a Russian translation.
            • fictionalization is not very well combined with the reliability, Wolfe is still a journalist, the facts from the book, as far as possible, it is worth checking other sources.
              Превью on Google books

              The second place. Jim Lovell, Jeffrey Kluger, "Lost Moon» h4>

              Jim Lovell - an astronaut who has made two flights aboard the "Gemini" to orbit the moon for "Apollo-8" and got into an accident on the "Apollo 13". Jeffrey Kluger - journalist and author, writing for Time, and wrote several books about space travel. Tandem astronaut personally experienced dramatic events, and journalists know the language and dramatic techniques, has generated an excellent book, which, despite the documentary evidence falls into four classic stories of Borges with long and difficult return home. Already one year later the book was withdrawn wonderful movie "Apollo 13».

              In addition to the detailed story about the flight "Apollo 13," the book says about the tragedy of "Apollo 1", and specifically the lives of astronauts Lovell. Beautifully illustrated Brotherhood astronauts still remember an episode where one of the astronauts was convinced, despite all the technical calculations that, if he was fourth in the cockpit "Apollo 1", helping Grissom, White and Chaffee understand the equipment, the could open the hatch pressed pressurized ...


              • The dramatic story that wants to read and reread.
                • Translation Hartikova "ragged" quality, there is a very silly mistakes.
                   Book unlucky with paranoid owners on Google Books is not even a preview. But, they say, somewhere there audiobook, in which part of the text read by Lovell.

                  The first place. Mike Malleyn, «Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut» h4>

                  Mike Malleyn wanted to be an astronaut since childhood. Dark sky Albuquerque fascination with astronomy, and then the Soviet Union launched the first satellite. Mike wrote a letter with a proposal to NASA astronauts type in children in order to save weight. But astigmatism closed the way for him into space during the "Apollo." Not losing hope of becoming an astronaut, Malleyn went to military pilots. Vision is not allowed to become a pilot, he was a weapons operator on double "Phantom". In 1978 he began recruiting astronauts in the Space Shuttle, the requirements were lower and Malleyn managed to pass it. He made three space shuttle flight, two of them with secret military missions. Retired from NASA in the 90s, was the speaker-motivator. Memoirs came in 2006.

                  The book is surprisingly lively discussion. Dramatic screening process where Malleyn straying from the account at the psychologist and goes through the following steps in the confidence that has already failed. Brotherhood 35 astronauts set in 1978, jokes on the bulletin board, field trips. Unidentified rules determining who will fly first to guess and distrust. The first flights, and the first successes. The disaster "Challenger". The resumption of flights and the military mission with secret satellites.

                  Malleyn wrote very frankly, revealing a variety of topics, from feminist and sexist jokes among astronauts to harsh criticism of how John Young led astronaut and disadvantages of the Space Shuttle.
                  Besides purely cosmic order, it is shown in the book interesting slice of American society at the time. For example, Malleyn not afraid to talk about how the Catholic family of his future wife solved the problem of her illegitimate pregnancy.

                  Malleyn in Revelation does not spare himself - remember the episode in which he wrote as a barely refrain from in order not to change his wife with a friend astronaut.

                  And, of course, a lot of Physiology - space toilets , space toilet jokes, dramatic choice of the size of a condom on the bag.

                  Despite the abundance of aviation and technical terms, the simple language of the book, and read it in the original is easy.


                  • The unique language, style and content of the book.


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