Friday, April 6, 2007

Gene Kranz - Failure is Not an Option

When the USA found itself falling behind the Russians in the race for space back in the early 60s, there was a huge effort mounted to catch up. Gene Kranz, ex fighter pilot, got his job with NASA 'just' by applying, no interview, he was in. Thousands of highly competent guys like him took on the challenge, and of course we now know they triumphed, just managing to get a man on the moon before the decade was out.
This book if terrific. Kranz gives you a detailed insight into just how hard the task was, and just how close they came to disaster on many occasions.

His job was to get his controllers organised so well that any crisis that came along could be dealt with as quickly and accurately as possible.

This man worked on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects, culminating in the Apollo 11 moon landing itself, and the unbelievable saving of the Apollo 13 crew after their spacecraft blew up on the way to the moon.
Without him and men like him, the whole space project would have been a shambles. His ability to hold things together and organise his troops is inspiring. And his disappointment with his country for getting bored with Moon landings and pulling the plug on the project is painful to read.

This book ties in with my article here about how the USA could make itself look great again. Guys like Kranz must still be there, ready and able to do these fantastic things, for goodness sake why not let them have a go for Mars, what a glorious enterprise that would potentially be.

Highly recommended, 9/10, you could buy it here.

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