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Magnificent Desolation

Author: Buzz Aldrin
Publisher: Crown Archetype
ISBN: 0307463478
Size: 32.10 MB
Format: PDF
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Forty years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second human, minutes after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on a celestial body other than the Earth. The event remains one of mankind’s greatest achievements and was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history. In the years since, millions more have had their Earth-centric perspective unalterably changed by the iconic photograph of Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon, the blackness of space behind him and his fellow explorer and the Eagle reflected in his visor. Describing the alien world he was walking upon, he uttered the words “magnificent desolation.” And as the astronauts later sat in the Eagle, waiting to begin their journey back home, knowing that they were doomed unless every system and part on board worked flawlessly, it was Aldrin who responded to Mission Control’s clearance to take off with the quip, “Roger. Understand. We’re number one on the runway.” The flight of Apollo 11 made Aldrin one of the most famous persons on our planet, yet few people know the rest of this true American hero’s story. In Magnificent Desolation, Aldrin not only gives us a harrowing first-person account of the lunar landing that came within seconds of failure and the ultimate insider’s view of life as one of the superstars of America’s space program, he also opens up with remarkable candor about his more personal trials–and eventual triumphs–back on Earth. From the glory of being part of the mission that fulfilled President Kennedy’s challenge to reach the moon before the decade was out, Aldrin returned home to an Air Force career stripped of purpose or direction, other than as a public relations tool that NASA put to relentless use in a seemingly nonstop world tour. The twin demons of depression and alcoholism emerged–the first of which Aldrin confronted early and publicly, and the second of which he met with denial until it nearly killed him. He burned through two marriages, his Air Force career came to an inglorious end, and he found himself selling cars for a living when he wasn’t drunkenly wrecking them. Redemption came when he finally embraced sobriety, gained the love of a woman, Lois, who would become the great joy of his life, and dedicated himself to being a tireless advocate for the future of space exploration–not only as a scientific endeavor but also as a thriving commercial enterprise. These days Buzz Aldrin is enjoying life with an enthusiasm that reminds us how far it is possible for a person to travel, literally and figuratively. As an adventure story, a searing memoir of self-destruction and self-renewal, and as a visionary rallying cry to once again set our course for Mars and beyond, Magnificent Desolation is the thoroughly human story of a genuine hero. From the Hardcover edition.

This Magnificent Desolation

Author: Thomas O'Malley
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 160819471X
Size: 60.78 MB
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Duncan's entire world is the orphanage where he lives, a solitary outpost on the open plains of northern Minnesota. Aged ten in 1980, he has no memories of his life before now, but he has stories that he recites like prayers: the story of how his mother brought him here during the worst blizzard of the century; the story of how God spoke to him at his birth and gave him a special purpose. Duncan is sure that his mother is dead until the day she turns up to claim him. Maggie Bright, a soprano who was once the talent of her generation, now sings in a San Francisco bar through a haze of whisky cut with sharp regret. She often finishes up in the arms of Joshua McGreevey, a Vietnam vet who earns his living as part of a tunneling crew seventy feet beneath the Bay. He smells of sea silt and loam, as if he has been dredged from the deep bottom of the world - and his wounds run deep too. Thrown into this mysterious adult world, Duncan finds comfort in an ancient radio, from which tumble the voices of Apollo mission astronauts who never came home, and dreams of finding his real father. A heart-breaking, staggering, soaring novel, This Magnificent Desolation allows a child's perspective to illuminate a dark world, and explores the creeping devastation of war, the many facets of loneliness, the redemptive power of the imagination, and the possibility of a kind of grace.

No Dream Is Too High

Author: Buzz Aldrin
Publisher: National Geographic Books
ISBN: 1426216505
Size: 76.73 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Beloved American hero Buzz Aldrin reflects on the wisdom, guiding principles, and irreverent anecdotes he's gathered through his event-filled life—both in outer space and on earth—in this inspiring guide-to-life for the next generation. Everywhere he goes, crowds gather to meet Buzz Aldrin. He is a world-class hero, a larger-than-life figurehead, best known of a generation of astronauts whose achievements surged in just a few years from first man in space to first men on the moon. Now he pauses to reflect and share what he has learned, from the vantage point not only of outer space but also of time: still a non-stop traveler and impassioned advocate for space exploration, Aldrin will be 86 in 2016. No Dream Is Too High whittles down Buzz Aldrin's event-filled life into a short list of principles he values, each illustrated by fascinating anecdotes and memories, such as: · Second comes right after first. NASA protocol should have meant he was first on the moon, but rules changed just before the mission. How he learned to be proud of being the second man on the moon. · Look for opportunities, not obstacles. Buzz was rejected the first time he applied to be an astronaut. Failure is an opportunity to learn to do better. · Always maintain your spirit of adventure. For his 80th birthday, Buzz went diving in the Galapagos and hitched a ride on a whale shark. He stays fit, energetic, and fascinated with life. No Dream Is Too High is a beautiful memento, a thought-provoking set of ideas, and a new opportunity for Buzz Aldrin to connect with the masses of people who recognize his unique place in human history.

Dark Side Of The Moon

Author: Gerard Degroot
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814721131
Size: 41.31 MB
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A selection of the History, Scientific American, and Quality Paperback Book Clubs For a very brief moment during the 1960s, America was moonstruck. Boys dreamt of being an astronaut; girls dreamed of marrying one. Americans drank Tang, bought “space pens” that wrote upside down, wore clothes made of space age Mylar, and took imaginary rockets to the moon from theme parks scattered around the country. But despite the best efforts of a generation of scientists, the almost foolhardy heroics of the astronauts, and 35 billion dollars, the moon turned out to be a place of “magnificent desolation,” to use Buzz Aldrin’s words: a sterile rock of no purpose to anyone. In Dark Side of the Moon, Gerard J. DeGroot reveals how NASA cashed in on the Americans’ thirst for heroes in an age of discontent and became obsessed with putting men in space. The moon mission was sold as a race which America could not afford to lose. Landing on the moon, it was argued, would be good for the economy, for politics, and for the soul. It could even win the Cold War. The great tragedy is that so much effort and expense was devoted to a small step that did virtually nothing for mankind. Drawing on meticulous archival research, DeGroot cuts through the myths constructed by the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations and sustained by NASA ever since. He finds a gang of cynics, demagogues, scheming politicians, and corporations who amassed enormous power and profits by exploiting the fear of what the Russians might do in space. Exposing the truth behind one of the most revered fictions of American history, Dark Side of the Moon explains why the American space program has been caught in a state of purposeless wandering ever since Neil Armstrong descended from Apollo 11 and stepped onto the moon. The effort devoted to the space program was indeed magnificent and its cultural impact was profound, but the purpose of the program was as desolate and dry as lunar dust.

Look To The Stars

Author: Buzz Aldrin
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0399247211
Size: 15.23 MB
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Presents a history of man's exploration of space, discussing the Wright brothers' first airplane, America's space race with Russia, missions to the Moon and Mars, and a guide to the inner workings of the International Space Station.

Reaching For The Moon

Author: Buzz Aldrin
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060554452
Size: 51.94 MB
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I walked on the moon. This is my journey. But it didn't begin when I stepped on board Apollo 11 on July 1, 1969. It began the day I was born. Becoming an astronaut took more than education, discipline, and physical strength. It took years of determination and believing that any goal is possible—from riding a bike alone across the George Washington Bridge at age ten to making a footprint on the Moon. I always knew the Moon was within my reach—and that I was ready to be on the team that would achieve the first landing. But it was still hard to believe when I took my first step onto the Moon's surface. We all have our own dreams. This is the story of how mine came true.

Encounter With Tiber

Author: Buzz Aldrin
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1480421537
Size: 34.66 MB
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An Apollo 11 astronaut and the Nebula Award–nominated author of Directive 51 present a novel that “conveys the wonder and promise of space” (Publishers Weekly). Born the year of the Moon landing, Chris Terence spends his life fighting to return humanity to that pinnacle. An engineering student with dreams of spaceflight, he finds upon graduation that the United States no longer has need for astronauts. Years of bureaucratic meddling have reduced the space program to a shell of itself, and it will take the greatest scientific find in history to send humanity skyward once more. After years battling budget hawks, Chris finally gets his chance to walk on the Moon. While there, he finds evidence of an ancient alien civilization, the Tiberians, who visited Earth’s satellite eight thousand years before. Understanding what happened to those long-forgotten travelers will define the lives of Chris and his son, as they fight against all odds to unlock the secrets of the universe. “The collaboration of the first man to pilot a moon lander (Aldrin) with a major voice in contemporary science fiction (Barnes) has produced a fascinating chronicle of man’s first encounter with alien intelligence” (Booklist).

Return To Earth

Author: Buzz Aldrin
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1504026446
Size: 50.47 MB
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Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s courageous, candid memoir of his return to Earth after the historic moon landing and his personal struggle with fame and depression. “We landed with all the grace of a freight elevator,” Buzz Aldrin relates in the opening passages of Return to Earth, remembering Command Module Columbia’s abrupt descent into the gravity of the blue planet. With that splash, Aldrin takes readers on a journey through the human side of the space program, as one of the first two men to land on the moon learns to cope with the pressures of his new public persona. In honest and compelling prose, Aldrin reveals a side of instant fame for which West Point and NASA could never have prepared him. One day a fighter pilot and engineer, the next a cultural hero burdened with the adoration of thousands, Aldrin gives a poignant account of the affair that threatened his marriage, as well as his descent into alcoholism and depression that resulted from trying to be too many things to too many people. He didn’t realize that when he landed on his home planet his odyssey had just begun. As Aldrin puts it, “I traveled to the moon, but the most significant voyage of my life began when I returned from where no man had been before.” Return to Earth is a powerful and moving memoir that exposes the stresses suffered by those in the Apollo program and the price Buzz Aldrin paid when he became an American icon.

Apollo 8

Author: Jeffrey Kluger
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1627798315
Size: 17.63 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The untold story of the historic voyage to the moon that closed out one of our darkest years with a nearly unimaginable triumph In August 1968, NASA made a bold decision: in just sixteen weeks, the United States would launch humankind’s first flight to the moon. Only the year before, three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, and since then the Apollo program had suffered one setback after another. Meanwhile, the Russians were winning the space race, the Cold War was getting hotter by the month, and President Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade seemed sure to be broken. But when Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders were summoned to a secret meeting and told of the dangerous mission, they instantly signed on. Written with all the color and verve of the best narrative non-fiction, Apollo 8 takes us from Mission Control to the astronaut’s homes, from the test labs to the launch pad. The race to prepare an untested rocket for an unprecedented journey paves the way for the hair-raising trip to the moon. Then, on Christmas Eve, a nation that has suffered a horrendous year of assassinations and war is heartened by an inspiring message from the trio of astronauts in lunar orbit. And when the mission is over—after the first view of the far side of the moon, the first earth-rise, and the first re-entry through the earth’s atmosphere following a flight to deep space—the impossible dream of walking on the moon suddenly seems within reach. The full story of Apollo 8 has never been told, and only Jeffrey Kluger—Jim Lovell’s co-author on their bestselling book about Apollo 13—can do it justice. Here is the tale of a mission that was both a calculated risk and a wild crapshoot, a stirring account of how three American heroes forever changed our view of the home planet.

Rocket Men

Author: Craig Nelson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101057734
Size: 33.12 MB
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Read Craig Nelson's posts on the Penguin Blog. "Celebrates a bold era when voyaging beyond the Earth was deemed crucial to national security and pride." -The Wall Street Journal Restoring the drama, majesty, and sheer improbability of an American triumph, this is award-winning historian Craig Nelson's definitive and thrilling story of man's first trip to the moon. At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. Through interviews, 23,000 pages of NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents on the space race, Rocket Men presents a vivid narrative of the moon mission, taking readers on the journey to one of the last frontiers of the human imagination. From the Trade Paperback edition.