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3.7 out of 5 stars14
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 25 October 2013
This book was very much advertised before its release so I decided to go ahead and buy one. So you can believe I waited for something quite extraordinary from a veteran who has seen the space programs from inside for decades and is still involved with people working on the subject.

Unfortunately the book turned out to be an _introduction_ to manned space exploration, not going too deep or giving out too many thoughts about the subject a reader who has previous knowledge of the manned exploration would not already know. The writing level is about the same as you would expect from a magazine from the news kiosk (in Europe). To make the tone a bit strange Buzz seems to brag about the grandeur of the American manned space exploration almost continuously, of a nation which does not even have a vehicle to deliver a man to the low earth orbit currently, while half a dozed other nations have this capability. So from the European view point this outright lying makes the author loose his credibility, at least this is what happened to me reading this book. This is a truly rare phenomenon with thousands of books I've read.

The best value in the book in the end seem to be the many speeches from 1953 to present day starting at the page 213. Those give a true feeling and insight of the manned space exploration. This section even has both versions of the speeches Kennedy once made, the longer and more interesting, and the short version we are accustomed to hear and see on old recordings. But then again, you can easily find this "foundation" speech written or multimedia on Nasa website in one minute.

So, if you don't have too much previous knowledge of the manned space exploration so far this book could give you a very good introduction to the subject (if you avoid getting tangled in the authors empty bragging about the American greatness in space). However, if you have any decent knowledge of the manned space exploration, Amazon is literally full of books on this subject that can provide you much better return for your money, and many enjoyable hours of reading.
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on 6 August 2013
When I bought this book I was hoping for a in depth explanation for a 'Unified Space Vision' a discussion on the challenges of a manned space program that is more than just the ISS.

Instead it read as more of a political speech, a call for action to work to gather and how working to get her will make the USA even more 'awesome'... (It is incredibly pro America)

If your interested in this book to find out about a 'mission to mars, you will be sourly disappointed. It can be summarise as:

Use Aldrin Cyclers to ship people between planets and go to Phobos first and use robots to get stuff ready for humans.

Honestly, you can find more out about plans and challenges for a real mission to mars by googling it and reading NASA's website.
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on 19 July 2013
Imagine you had dinner with Buzz and then you move to a terrace, overlooking Cape Cañaveral, and Buzz begins to tell you how all started...and where it should go: this is the view of Buzz regarding how we might be able to reach Mars, with all the details on how to do it: political, practical, theoretical, social, but all explained in a logical, friendly chat, with plenty of interesting anecdotes, pictures, etc.
For young students: it's an amusing way of understanding the social context of why in the 60's the USA wanted to go to the Moon, all the the space history...up to why we should go today to Mars and how all the socio-political context have changed.
For everyone: extremely easy to read and understand, but at the same time, the reader will learn loads of interesting facts and will educate the reader on the importance of space exploration.
The only but is, that I find it a bit centered on why it is only up to the USA to lead space exploration; I would have preferred a more global approach and less self-centered.
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on 18 September 2015
Bought as a holiday read. I have to agree with the previous 3 star review, and even the comments made by the 1 star review. It is great to read the thoughts of this important illustrious man, who has passionate views on the topic. However, it is seriously lacking in detail of both 'how' and 'why' the project would be done. The tone is stridently nationalistic, it is quite repetitive and poorly edited. This man has a PhD in Orbital Mechanics but you wouldn't know from the content; diagrams are sketchy and need explanations. The best ideas are (1) using 'cyclers' in permanent Earth-Mars transfer orbits to provide transport, (2) harvest lunar ice for fuel (3) land on Phobos first. But then, if the point is to establish humanity on another world, why not just pick the Moon? Buy it to hear the author. Buy Zubrin to get detail. Also, play Kerbal!
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on 19 September 2015
Dreadfully disappointing. Seems like the sort of vanity project. Rather too much use of the personal pronoun and some of the drawings of spacecraft are childish in the extreme. It certainly does not compare to The Case for Mars which is a far better book and much more well written.

I know it is a book with the strap line of My Vision but it is not visionary and rather to much of my.

The best thing you can say about Aldrin is that he makes no bones about the fact the we (the West) must get to Mars before the Chinese. That in itself is the greatest reason to embark upon a serious endeavour to get to Mars.
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on 19 May 2016
I'm keen on space exploration and Buzz is a hero of mine but I found myself disagreeing with his arguments. The difficulty and cost of sending someone to Mars and then bringing them back coupled with the risk of biological contamination makes the whole enterprise rather pointless. Better to go back to the Moon and send robots to Mars. One key argument he tries to make is that mankind needs somewhere to go to when they have ruined Earth - I think if that happens we don't deserve to have another planet to ruin. Its much better to look after Earth in the first place.In the end I didn't bother to read the whole book.
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on 27 June 2013
I have always been interested in Space Exploration and because the Moon landing took place in the month I was born and the year I was married it will always hold a special place in my heart. This book is a wonderful read and it would have been nice if it had been signed by the man himself, but I can but dream. Now I have been reading in the news lately that the Moon landing never took place - well I for one do not believe this. AND I will always treasure the fact that it did take place. Oh to be able to go there and beyond..........
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on 24 July 2013
Still green in his late years, Buzz still carries the fire... I am amazed at his relentless drive to help push mankind outside of its cradle planet. If we were all like Buzz, we would be off to the stars already. His vast knowledge and networking skills make these plans credible. I would just comment that given government apathy on these topics, his visions are more likely to be fulfilled by the private sector than he believes.But then, Buzz has seen government action work magnificently well in the past.
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on 26 December 2015
Astronaut shares his visit to the Moon. Shares many ideas about trips to Mars, mentions a Cycler System of ships that travel back and forth using gravitational pull of plants to create a bus-type system.

Mentions bases on Mars moons and that if there is a return to the Lunar surface it should be done by other countries. Possibilities of mining and possibly even solar power to transmit to Earth.(It barely works here!) Occasionally insightful but no clear "Let's do THIS!"
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on 4 August 2013
Thank god for Buzz. to have such a colourful character in the space program has been a lot to do with what's kept it popular if you ask me. and this book has brilliantly simple schemes for how space should be populated and makes it sound almost inevitable!
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