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Schirra's Space | [Wally Schirra, Richard N. Billings]

Schirra's Space

Wally Schirra was the only one of the original seven NASA astronauts to command a spacecraft in all three pioneering space programs - Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. This chronicle of his experiences takes us into space on Schirra's 1962 Mercury flight that orbited Earth six times and aboard Gemini for the first rendezvous of two manned craft in space.
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Publisher's Summary

Irreverent, provocative, and filled with fascinating anecdotes, this autobiography by one of America's first astronauts offers a revealing inside look at the early days of space flight and the men who captured the heart of the nation. Wally Schirra was the only one of the original seven NASA astronauts to command a spacecraft in all three pioneering space programs - Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. This chronicle of his experiences takes us into space on Schirra's 1962 Mercury flight that orbited Earth six times and aboard Gemini for the first rendezvous of two manned craft in space. Never reluctant to discuss the problems along with the stunning successes of those exciting, formative years, Schirra openly describes the pressures, tensions, and dangers associated with a launch. Nor does he confine himself to his days as an astronaut. He also speaks about his career as a navy pilot, which began in 1947 with biplanes, transitioned to jets for combat missions over Korea, and ended with rockets in space.

©1988 by Walter M. Schirra, Jr., and Richard N. Billings; (P)2000 by the Naval Institute Press

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Performance
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  •  
    David Grays, Essex, United Kingdom 17/12/2008
    David Grays, Essex, United Kingdom 17/12/2008
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    "Awful sound quality"

    Unfortunately the quality of the sound on this audiobook ranged from poor to absolutely dreadful. I usually listen to audiobooks on the train but this one was so muffled that I could only hear it in a quiet room at home.
    The book itself was interesting, but not the best I have read on the early manned space missions.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick Derby, Derbyshire, United Kingdom 05/02/2009
    Nick Derby, Derbyshire, United Kingdom 05/02/2009 Member Since 2006
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    "An informative, yet entertaining read"

    I have had rather a huge interest in the space race age, in particular the mercury, gemini and apollo programs. Walley schirra certainly has done a good job in writing his book about his memoirs, both in the navy, in space, and other ventures. May he rest in peace.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
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  • David
    Bogart, GA, USA
    27/08/03
    Overall
    "Gotcha! Schirra's Arrogance Distracts"

    I am a big fan of the Apollo space program, so when I saw this one unabridged on Audible (keep those unabridged books coming, Audible), I had to give it a try. Unfortunately, Schirra's Space is a bit light on the details and a bit heavy on the "Gotchas," or practical jokes the astronauts played on each other. The jokes are fun to read about, and have their place, but they are a bit self-aggrandizing and add too much fluff. I expected a bit more from Wally Schirra, the only astronaut to fly in Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. Perhaps he is saving his best flight stories for later.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Curt
    Shelby Twp, MI, USA
    28/12/04
    Overall
    "Interesting insight into Original Seven"

    I really enjoyed the story telling in this book. I have read extensively about Apollo, but it's hard to find good audio books about early spaceflight development, Mercury, and Gemini. You definitely get some inside information about the Original 7. There is a bit of soapboxing in there I could have done without, but it's mostly funny now, because the criticism is pretty out of date. The recording quality was a little up and down, but tolerable and didn't interupt the story too bad. If you're a NASA buff...you'll want to check this out.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • trena
    Little Rock, AR, United States
    29/05/07
    Overall
    "Gotcha U"

    This story of one of America's first pioneers into space is one that needed to be told. It was not as flashy as John Glen's story. It was not as controversial as Gordon Cooper's. It is also about the working ethics of American Test Pilots.

    People who are looking for an in-depth look at Apollo will be a little disappointed. This book is about everything leading up to the Apollo 7 flight, including the fateful decision to enter the Naval Academy instead of West Point or the drawing of lots between a bomber and fighter billets.

    That being said it is a wonderful journey through the hardships of the space race. It is a good counterpoint to other books of the era, such as Tom Wolff's 'The Right Stuff'. Worth the listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Skip Marsh
    04/06/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book, poor recording"
    Would you try another book from Wally Schirra and Richard N. Billings and/or Richard Rohan?


    Who was your favorite character and why?


    What didn’t you like about Richard Rohan’s performance?


    What else would you have wanted to know about Wally Schirra and Richard N. Billings ’s life?


    Any additional comments?

    The audio quality of the recording was not very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    Pittsfield, MA, USA
    04/02/06
    Overall
    "Wally come through"

    I agree with other reviews that the "gotchas" and practical jokes can be a bit much but, as a former US Navy trained Coast Guard Aviator, I can very much relate to the antics that go on between pilots. Men at the very high level of performance as Wally and company simply have that much more steam to blow off. A wonderful memoir from the only guy that was right in the middle of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. Wally tells it as he lived it. It can't get much better than that for those of us that grew up with the manned space-flight program. The accomplishments of these remarkable people caused me to become a military pilot, an experience that shaped my life in the most positive way imaginable. Audio quality leaves much to be desired but, I agree with others, it does not significantly detract from the tale.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • David
    West Newton, MA, USA
    05/01/05
    Overall
    "Good Book on the Space Program"

    Growing up I was a huge fan ofthe space program and this book is a nice summary since Schirra was the only astronaut to fly in Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. A good read although I do agree with other readers that too much time is spent detailing practical jokes among the pilots. All in all a good book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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