riding rockets

Detail of the promotional poster for 'The Right Stuff' (Kaufman 1983)

Tom Wolfe’s book on the history of the U.S. Space program reads like a novel, and the film has that same fictional quality. It covers the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager to the Mercury 7 astronauts, showing that no one had a clue how to run a space program or how to select people to be in it. Thrilling, funny, charming and electrifying all at once.

Thus wrote Tom Vogel at IMDb on the novel The Right Stuff (Wolfe 1979) and the movie of the same name (Kaufman 1983). It couldn’t be summed up better, and I just loved the movie as a 13-year old. [Some day, if I feel like really boring you, I’ll tell you the story how and why I didn’t become a jet-jockey and test-pilot but got stuck with the propeller stuff.] The movie I watched several times, but I haven’t yet read Wolfe’s book, although it prominently resides on the shelf … right next to the DVD.
    Anyway, I just learned that there’s another book around, this time from an insider, and on the just recently terminated shuttle program: Riding rockets: The outrageous tales of a space shuttle astronaut (Mullane 2006). Don’t miss Chris ‘JetHead’ Manno’s review [a professional pilot’s review].

Detail of the cover of 'Riding Rockets' (Mullane 2006)

MULLANE, RICHARD MICHAEL ‘MIKE’. 2006. Riding rockets: The outrageous tales of a space shuttle astronaut. New York: Scribner.
KAUFMAN, PHILIP. 1983. The right stuff [motion picture]. Burbank: Warner Bros.
WOLFE, jr., THOMAS KENNERLY ‘TOM’. 1979. The right stuff. New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux.
via entry at JetHead
  • 風露 Thursday, 5th January 2012 at 01:00

    Too much to read and nowhere near enough time T_T But I just read a few pages at google books and it is just hilarious and big fun to read so I think I’m going to get it. Thanks for the tip!

  • Chris Manno Thursday, 5th January 2012 at 17:37

    Thanks for the pingback to my review of “Riding Rockets.” Astronaut Mike Mullane will be the featured guest on my podcast “The JetHead Podcast” later this month. Check it out!

    • zephyrin_xirdal Thursday, 5th January 2012 at 19:35

      Oh, a real pilot! :-) Hi there, Chris, and thanks for stopping by at the uncanny depths of xirdalium! Thanks a lot for the hint to your upcoming podcast with Mike Mullane, I’ll definitely check it out.

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