Interesting Angle I Had Never Considered. This book takes a topic that many around the world, and particularly many Americans, know about and presents an angle on it that few openly consider. So many talk about the amazing scientific accomplishments of the Apollo program and NASA at the height of its prowess in its earliest days, but here Muir-Harmony explores the dimension of *how* did so many around the world know of this and *why* did the know of this. Muir-Harmony makes the case reasonably well from a *political* side that from the beginning, NASA’s actual chief mission wasn’t specifically science-for-the-sake-of-science, but much more closely science-as-covert-imperial-tool. NASA was tasked with achieving remarkable scientific feats, but it was only when the political pressures to be the “peaceful” face of Democracy And Western Ideals came to bear that the funding and urgency were truly put in place to make the “race to the moon” a thing… even as it never really was a thing, since the Soviet tech for such missions was… lacking. Still, an utterly fascinating history that puts well known events in a new light, and that alone makes this truly a worthy read. Very much recommended.
Fascinating. This book is a fascinating tale of Gene Kranz’s early years at NASA, where he rose from being one of the initial Flight Controllers for the first Mercury missions to being the Lead Flight Director for both the first Lunar landing and the Apollo 13 explosion. The story ends after the Apollo program is scrapped, and the book then introduces its singular MASSIVE flaw, that resulted in me docking it a star. In the final chapter, Kranz takes himself from the hero just doing his job of his experience with Apollo to the bitter old man who just retired 20 years later when he is writing this book and making “recommendations” about the state of NASA during the 90s. His critique of the early days of the International Space Station in particular sounds particularly hollow nearly 20 years later, while former ISS Commander Scott Kelly is still being studied after his Year In Space mission (which contrasts nicely against some of Kranz’s early missions of putting Alan Shepherd in space for just 15 minutes). Overall a great book, just ignore the last chapter to have a happier experience.