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on 20 August 2004
Having read most of the books by the astronauts, controllers, and others involved, this for me was by far the best (although I must admit to being a fan of the genre in general).
Surprisingly for me (given that I'm a geek!), it was the human side of most of the stories that were the most interesting. If you have any interest at all in the space race, buy this book.
My only criticism is a minor one: In the last couple of pages, where Kraft discusses how we should still be exploring and moving out (with which I totally agree), he makes constant reference to "America should do this", "American people must do that", etc. Sure - it was America who won the space race, and I do not wish to take that away from them, but the cold war is over now - mankind must move forwards as a whole from now, not just America. But I would say that, being a Brit!
Great book: buy it.
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on 15 March 2002
What a way to spend your life, not only was Chris Kraft one of the main people behind NASA getting to the moon, but he was also an incredible engineer involved with the X-1 he also designed a system to help control planes that had the British and American Aircraft companies confused (you get the idea this guy was a little bit smart).
But this book is really about NASA, his guiding of the mission control center and all those who worked for him, Gene Kranz included.
If you have an interest in the Mercury, Gemini or Apollo days of NASA, read this book, because a lot of it would never of happened with out Chris Kraft
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on 6 February 2003
Chris Kraft captures the excitement of the early years in space; he brings to life the Houston and Kennedy space centers and all those who worked there. His is the enthusiasm of the young engineer/ manager on the cutting edge of technology, more interested in the quest than personal advancement.
He pulls no punches - his negative evaluation of early space luminaries such as Werner Von Braun may surprise some space enthusiasts. He also describes the early political posturing in the building of NACA and NASA.
I was privileged to grow up near the space center and experience Gemini and Apollo second-hand; many of my peer's parents worked for NASA. Thank you, Dr. Kraft, for bringing the most exciting time in space travel back to life, and helping me view it through the eyes of those who made it happen!!
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on 13 November 2006
I have read a lot about the space program and this book is one of the better. Kraft was undoubtedly one of the key figures in bringing USA to the moon and this book describes his story very well.

Why then only 4 stars? Well i find that Kraft perhaps tend to overlook other people and having read Krantz's book i find it a bit sad. Krantz speaks very high about Chris Kraft, sometimes emotional but Kraft returns the favour by allmost not mentioning Krantz. Chris Kraft WAS the reverend leader who laid the foundation but Gene Krantz was the #2 man who build the house(mission control)
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on 26 February 2006
The kind of engaging read that makes you glad that Kraft committed his memoirs to paper. His long involvement ran from the early days of NACA through the formation of NASA, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, ASTP, Skylab and the early days of Shuttle operations.

Of the mission programmes, Mercury and Gemini receive the most detailed coverage here. Despite an entertaining description of the scene in Mission Control when Apollo 11 landed, coverage of the later Apollo missions is sketchy - he had moved into more of a background - though more senior role by that time. There are interesting descriptions of incidents such as the Apollo 15 stamps scandal, with more detail than found in many of the space books.

Twenty-two black and white photos figure in the central pages: a few of them personal but the rest all to do with the program.
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VINE VOICEon 22 April 2002
The man at the centre of the organisation behind the moon landings gives us some indication of the engineering complexities, planning details and bureaucracy behind the effort, but also adds some entertaining and frank insights into the people involved.
The book is at its best when describing the background to the earlier Mercury and Gemini missions. The details of the moon landings, when he was no longer directly in charge as flight director, are skipped over a little, and you will find a lot more detail elsewhere.
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on 6 December 2005
Only really getting into the swing of early manned spaceflight a few months back i dug deep into this book and it does not fail to impress, from Krafts early days in his hometown to his life in NACA before embarking in NASA its all here from the man they call 'Flight'.
Kraft's witticisms are abundant throughout as is his flair for sheer brilliance, Scott Carpenter and John Glenn come in for a bit of a roasting and Kraft is not afraid to hide his feelings, he will say what he wants when he wants in this book.
If your wondering about Kraft's career in MCC or just spaceflight and NASA administration in general I strongly reccomend this book
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on 31 January 2015
This is a fantastic insight into the origins and challenges of setting up a system of organization that had previously never been required . Explained in a way that anyone can understand , It is a fantastic read . I couldn't put this book down . If you love all things Space and Space travel you will love this book . Revered by his colleagues in mission control , This book provides an insight into the type of person that was required to achieve the seemingly impossible . AMAZING !!!
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on 2 May 2013
Unusual perspectives from someone who was in there from the very early (pre-NASA) days. He certainly had a real dislike for the Germans who came over after the war, especially Von Braun, but they gained his rightful respect after delivering the amazing Saturn 5 launcher.
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on 3 August 2014
A fascinating account a career at the sharp end of technology and endeavour, literally pushing forward the boundaries and 'going where no man has been before', as someone said.
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