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5.0 out of 5 stars
Life after journey to the Moon, 15 Oct. 2011
"Falling to Earth"' is Al Worden's autobiography, written with the British but USA based space historian Francis French. To mark the 40th anniversary of the launch (on 26th July 1971)of Apollo 15, Worden has published the story of his mission as Apollo 15's command module pilot CMP) and deals in details with what came to be known as the "covers incident". With a foreword by Dick Gordon, an epilogue by Tom Stafford and further praise on the back cover from Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and John Glen, Worden has finally received the personal redemption from those that he considers matter most - fellow astronauts.
In this three hundred page book Worden describes how Apollo 15 commander Dave Scott arranged a deal with a German businessman for the whole crew. They would fly 100 postal covers to the Moon and back for him to sell privately and discreetly after the space program was over or they left NASA. In return he would set up a trust account of 7000USD in a German Bank for each astronaut to be used for their children's education. Within months after Apollo 15 returned the covers were on the open market with Deke Slayton receiving queries about their authenticity from potential buyers.
Despite surviving the hazardous journey to the Moon, Worden regards his ultimately unsuccessful political campaign for congress as his toughest personal challenge.
Like any good wine, Worden's story benefits from the long interval offering a deeper insight into the human element of human spaceflight. Written in a slick punchy style it is entertaining and remarkably informative equally for those who remember the Apollo era and those unfortunate to have been born after it was over.
Two dozen Americans visited the Moon between 1968 and 1972. As their numbers dwindle and they age the astonishing achievements and sheer magic of that adventure is fading from living memory. Books like this not only introduce a new generation to one of humanity's greatest adventures, but make a critical contribution to the collective record of that exceptional era by those who made it happen.