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Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut Hardcover – 24 Jan 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company (24 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743276825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743276825
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 321,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Funny, harrowing, tragic..."Riding Rockets" is a thrill, from start to finish." -- "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I was naked, lying on my side on a table in the NASA Flight Medicine Clinic bathroom, probing at my rear end with the nozzle of an enema. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By P. G. Calisse on 3 May 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been waiting for this book since I was a kid watching the first landing on the Moon on TV. It is something completely different from what I read till now about the space program. To say that Mike Mullane is the Bill Bryson of space travel is to underestimate him. You will not only appreciate the story, the inside view on the US space program (including the permanent mismanagement). You will also learn about a real dream love: the one with his wife, Donna. What is really outstanding in Mike is the chase for the "ultimate honesty". He constantly refuse the "politically correct" approach and goes straigth to the core of our relations to space travels, dreams, technology, relation with... women, with his boss and with... the girl of his dream, in this case another Astronaut tragically dead in the Challenger accident. The last pages in particular are surprisingly good and poetic. I would never expect something like that from a funny book like this.

Thanks, Mike, for your honesty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By aster girl on 17 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
If you enjoy reading NASA's stories of manned space exploration that are primarily focused on the Apollo program hopefully you will also enjoy this book which will give you an insight from the point of view of one man's personal experiences inside NASA during the 70s,80s and early 90s.
It gives fascinating detail of how the astronauts cope with daily routines that on earth are relatively simple to achieve but became a different matter inside the space shuttle. The book does not give a large amount of information on the technical layout or functions of the shuttle or even for the astronauts' training program, but it is very entertaining, easy to read and actually gives an idea of what it was like for an exclusively male's world to have to cope with the introduction and intergration of women to their workplace-space.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Boyes on 4 Sep 2006
Format: Hardcover
There are a good number of astronaut biographies available. Inevitably there is fair amount of repetition sometimes straying towards telling you what SHOULD have happened rather than what DID happen. But Mike's book is different. This is the story of what it's all about being an astronaut: nuts and bolts, human weaknesses, bureaucracy, chauvanism, fear, elation, reality. But above all the need to fly into space. If you were to read only one astronaut biography, then this should be it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Long on 31 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is simply fascinating. I am not one to read books often but this has had me hooked.

I bought In the Shadow of the Moon on Blu Ray as I have always been interested in space. I enjoyed Mike Collins and then bought and read his book Carrying the Fire. At the same time Amazon recommended this book by Mike Mullane, so I got both.

I read Carrying the Fire first as it was the one I really wanted. And I really enjoyed that, very interesting and serious about getting to the moon. Once finished I moved onto Mike Mullanes book.

I have always been a big fan of space, but not a big book reader, most has been gained by watching TV and visiting the Kennedy space Centre 7 times! I grew up with the Space Shuttle, having been born in 69 and missing the Apollo era. I distinctly remember watching STS-1 launching with John Young and Bob Crippen in her.

The book by Mike is truly fascinating. If Tim Moore ever wrote a book about going to space then this would be like that book.

There is so much humour it makes the reading of the book so enjoyable. The drive to get into space I thought was a fantastic idea but the drive that people show to fulfil that ideal is so much more than I could ever give it credit, and Mike displays this with such humour it's a joy to read.

I enjoyed being able to relate to the Shuttle as it was and still is my space era, to see it evolve and the book fills in the gap of the program, how people became Astronauts and what it took to get there. It also showed how being an Astronaut was so much fun, it enlightened me that being an Astronaut was much like any other office job to a point, you went to work, you had a laugh, did some work and came home, they just did different things, and they endured office politics.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nic Percival on 23 Feb 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book.
The next nearest 'Deke', is very good.
Mike Mullane pulls out all of the stops. If I have a criticism it could be that he almost seems to push himself as definitely *not* the NASA puppet. Well, I'm sure he's not.
I think this is an honest work, Mullane's references to (for example) Judith Resnik really weighed on my heart. I hadn't shed a tear for Challenger for a long time.
There's fascinating stuff about how Mullane learns how not to be a sexist pig (read it!), how he learned how wonderful his wife is. There's a lot about the terror of a shuttle launch, (Space Truck? Dangerous experimental spaceplane?), pointing out the problems of that vehicle and management difficulties.
Just read it. There are amazingly honest references to emotional issues. Physiological issues (how do you pee (etc)in space?), what happens when the space toilet breaks?
This is good. I've read loads of space-related bios and they often seem full of irrelevent 'pre-space' detail. The 'pre-space' detail here is fascinating and is very relevant to what comes
later. 10/10.
Nic
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