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Download The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork and High-Stakes Innovation Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork and High-Stakes Innovation Audiobook, by William Patrick Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Patrick, Adam Steltzner Narrator: Christopher Grove Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2016 ISBN: 9780698411753
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The true story of how an unlikely leader helped inspire a team of rocket scientists to achieve the near impossible: landing a two-thousand-pound rover on Mars.

Few organizations solve as many impossible problems as NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and nobody knows more about leading rocket scientists to unlikely breakthroughs than Adam Steltzner.

As the phase lead and development manager for EDL (entry, descent and landing) of the Curiosity rover to Mars, Steltzner spearheaded the creation of one of engineering’s wackiest kluges—the sky crane—that allowed the heaviest rover in the history of space exploration to land on Mars unscathed.

Steltzner is no ordinary engineer. His path to leadership was about as unlikely as they come. A child of beatnik parents, he was a daredevil and avid mountain biker, breaking thirty-two bones before squeaking through high school. He blew off college in favor of work at a health-food store and playing bass in a band. After an interest in the movement of the stars led him to enroll part time at community college, Steltzner discovered an astonishing gift for math and physics. Within years he got his PhD and ensconced himself in the offbeat Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s decidedly unbureaucratic cousin, where success in a mission is the only metric that matters.

The Right Kind of Crazy is the story of the teamwork, drama, and extraordinary feats of innovation at the Jet Propulsion Lab that culminated in landing the rover Curiosity on Mars in 2012. It also weaves Steltzner’s professional life—centering on the ten years he and his team spent planning and then executing the landing of the rover—with his unlikely journey from academic underachiever to rocket scientist.

Along the way, readers will learn about what makes effective teams, how to stay on task for the long haul, and strategies for solving incredibly complex problems. The Right Kind of Crazy is a book for anyone striving for excellence.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Offers a gripping account of the Curiosity mission and some fascinating insights into the engineering principles and analytics involved in pulling off the project…[Steltzner] often talks less like a science geek than like the rocker he wanted to be as a teenager, and he displays a gift here for capturing the high-stakes, adrenaline-laced atmosphere of the Mars Science Laboratory.

    New York Times

  • “Steltzner’s enthusiastic, passionately written memoir is an insider’s guide to engineering wizardry and a testament to the effectiveness of team-minded engagement, rational problem solving, and the concept of ‘making ideas reality.’ A motivational journey for armchair astronauts and readers fascinated by the unlimited wingspan of human potential.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “With his likable vocal personality adding to the appeal of the story, narrator Christopher Grove sounds tuned in to the ebb and flow of the narrative’s drama. The performance is a totally believable blend of his precise enunciation and conversational phrasing. Author Adam Steltzner is a hippie-musician turned scientist who makes his 10 years working on this project sound more like a personal journey than an engineering saga…The vibrancy in his perspective and in Grove’s performance makes this an inspiring lesson on how organizations of all types can achieve amazing things.”


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About the Author

William Patrick, a former editor for science and medicine at Harvard University Press, is the editor in chief of the Journal of Life Sciences. He lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

About the Narrator

Christopher Grove is an actor, writer, and audiobook narrator. His narrations include Eye of the Storm, The Quantum Enigma, and the Right Kind of Crazy.