Fascinating. This book is from a guy that started in NASA in the era right after Apollo and seemingly left right as SpaceX and the other private space agencies were finding their first successes. It is highly technical, yet also very approachable – Dye actively tries to explain as much of his “NASA-speak” (his term) as possible while not getting bogged down in too many details. This covers the entirety of his 40 ish years in NASA, from his first days as a co-op student through his last years planning the recovery missions should a Shuttle be stranded in space in the years after the Columbia disaster. Great insight and sometimes hilarious stories, though it ultimately suffers from the same bad taste of an ending that soured Kranz’s Failure Is Not An Option. In its final chapter, it more often comes across as a bitter old man not understanding the new dynamics of the agency he helped mold, rather than as someone truly hopeful for the future of space exploration and what the promise of the new and immediately future eras. Still, a truly worthy read from one of the people who doesn’t have the name recognition of a Kranz or a Chris Kraft, but who was arguably just as important in getting NASA to where it is today. Very much recommended.
Simply phenomenal. Told in alternating chapters detailing his Year in Space and the rest of his life leading up to that mission, Kelly does an awesome job of telling his story in a way that makes it very nearly impossible to put down the book. I actually listened to the audiobook for most of this read, which was read by Kelly himself. Also fun was knowing I had followed him on social media during that year, so some of the things he talks about in the book, I actually saw when his team put them on his social media accounts as they happened. Overall an excellent book about the current realities of the International Space Station and at least one man’s tale of how he got there.