This memoir of a veteran NASA
flight director tells riveting stories from the early days of the Mercury
program through Apollo 11 (the moon landing) and Apollo 13, for both of which
Kranz was flight director.
Gene Kranz was present at the
creation of America’s manned space program and was a key player in it for three
decades. As a flight director in NASA’s Mission Control, Kranz witnessed
firsthand the making of history. He participated in the space program from the
early days of the Mercury program to the last Apollo mission, and beyond. He
endured the disastrous first years when rockets blew up and the United States
seemed to fall further behind the Soviet Union in the space race. He helped to
launch Alan Shepard and John Glenn, then assumed the flight director’s role in
the Gemini program, which he guided to fruition. With his teammates, he
accepted the challenge to carry out President John F. Kennedy’s commitment to
land a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s.
Kranz recounts these
thrilling historic events and offers new information about the famous flights.
What appeared as nearly flawless missions to the moon were, in fact, a series of
hair-raising near misses. When the space technology failed, as it sometimes
did, the controllers’ only recourse was to rely on their skills and those of
their teammates. He reveals behind-the-scenes details to demonstrate the
leadership, discipline, trust, and teamwork that made the space program a
A fascinating firsthand
account by a veteran mission controller of one of America’s greatest
achievements, Failure is
Not an Option reflects on what has happened to the space program and
offers his own bold suggestions about what we ought to be doing in space now. Download and start listening now!