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Falling to Earth : an Apollo 15 astronaut's journey / Al Worden with Francis French.

By: Worden, Al, 1932-.
Contributor(s): French, Francis.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Washington, DC : Smithsonian Books, c2011Edition: First edition.Description: xii, 300 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781588343093 (alk. paper); 158834309X (alk. paper).Other title: Falling to Earth : an Apollo 15 astronaut's journey to the moon [Title on jacket:].Subject(s): Worden, Al, 1932- | Project Apollo (U.S.) -- History | Astronauts -- United States -- Biography | Space flight to the moon -- HistoryDDC classification: 629.450092 | B
Farmer -- Soldier -- Aviator -- Astronaut -- The fire -- Unveiling the moon -- Training and temptation -- Launch -- Earthrise -- Falling to Earth -- Celebration -- Ruin -- Redemption -- A new tranquility -- Epilogue / by Tom Stafford.
Farmer -- Soldier -- Aviator -- Astronaut -- The fire -- Unveiling the Moon -- Training and temptation -- Launch -- Earthrise -- Falling to Earth -- Celebration -- Ruin -- Redemptation -- A new tranquility.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

As command module pilot for the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971, Al Worden flew on what is widely regarded as the greatest exploration mission that humans have ever attempted. He spent six days orbiting the moon, including three days completely alone, the most isolated human in existence. During the return from the moon to earth he also conducted the first spacewalk in deep space, becoming the first human ever to see both the entire earth and moon simply by turning his head. The Apollo 15 flight capped an already-impressive career as an astronaut, including important work on the pioneering Apollo 9 and Apollo 12 missions, as well as the perilous flight of Apollo 13.

Nine months after his return from the moon, Worden received a phone call telling him he was fired and ordering him out of his office by the end of the week. He refused to leave.

What happened in those nine months, from being honored with parades and meetings with world leaders to being unceremoniously fired, has been a source of much speculation for four decades. Worden has never before told the full story around the dramatic events that shook NASA and ended his spaceflight career. Readers will learn them here for the first time, along with the exhilarating account of what it is like to journey to the moon and back. It's an unprecedentedly candid account of what it was like to be an Apollo astronaut, with all its glory but also its pitfalls.

Includes index.

Farmer -- Soldier -- Aviator -- Astronaut -- The fire -- Unveiling the moon -- Training and temptation -- Launch -- Earthrise -- Falling to Earth -- Celebration -- Ruin -- Redemption -- A new tranquility -- Epilogue / by Tom Stafford.

Farmer -- Soldier -- Aviator -- Astronaut -- The fire -- Unveiling the Moon -- Training and temptation -- Launch -- Earthrise -- Falling to Earth -- Celebration -- Ruin -- Redemptation -- A new tranquility.

11 135 138

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Foreword (p. vii)
  • Preface (p. xi)
  • 1 Farmer (p. 1)
  • 2 Soldier (p. 16)
  • 3 Aviator (p. 30)
  • 4 Astronaut (p. 60)
  • 5 The Fire (p. 87)
  • 6 Unveiling the Moon (p. 110)
  • 7 Training and Temptation (p. 138)
  • 8 Launch (p. 156)
  • 9 Earthrise (p. 177)
  • 10 Falling to Earth (p. 200)
  • 11 Celebration (p. 220)
  • 12 Ruin (p. 242)
  • 13 Redemption (p. 259)
  • 14 A New Tranquility (p. 274)
  • Epilogue (p. 280)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 282)
  • Index (p. 285)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Nine months after Worden's (Hello Earth: Greetings from Endeavour) return to Earth, NASA management moved him permanently out of the astronaut office for allegedly profiteering from spaceflight. In this autobiography, he addresses the accusations and how he cleared his name. His focus, however, is on the first half of his life, from childhood to his departure from the Houston space center; he dispatches the last 40 years in two short chapters. The book's highlight is a detailed and fascinating account of training for and successfully completing the first longer-stay lunar mission. Although Worden clearly regrets sacrificing his marriage for his career, kicks himself for getting involved in questionable financial deals, and obviously has mixed feelings about his former mission commander, he doesn't dwell on the details or on his emotions. In a low-key conclusion, the author claims he is reconciled with most of his astronaut peers and on better-than-ever terms with NASA. VERDICT A good, occasionally blunt read and a worthy newcomer to the ever-popular genre of astronaut memoirs. Anyone interested in the space program will enjoy Worden's reminiscences.-Nancy R. -Curtis, Univ. of Maine, Orono (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Apollo 15 astronaut Worden belongs to one of the most exclusive clubs in the world: men who made it to the moon. His recollections of events leading up to a three-day solo lunar orbit as well as the heady days of the Apollo program would be fascinating enough, but Worden is also the astronaut whom NASA shrouded in a cloud of suspicion. Few people have known why until now, when this caustic, no-holds-barred, former test pilot tells all. What readers will discover is less tabloid tawdriness than controversy surrounding the rare and valuable stamps, or postal covers, that have flown in space. With NASA now officially flying covers onboard shuttle missions, what happened to the Apollo 15 crew seems almost funny. But it had a real impact on careers and friendships, and Worden sheds invaluable light on how much risk we ask our heroes to endure in exchange for little compensation. Worden is eloquent, witty, and brutally honest, still in awe of the company he kept and the history he belongs to. A solid addition to space-literature collections.--Mondor, Collee. Copyright 2010 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

With the assistance of space historian French (co-author: In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965-1969, 2007, etc.), astronaut Worden, commander of the Apollo 15 module, writes that "it is time to...set the record straight" about the scandal that ended his career in space flight.The author flew under Col. Dave Scott with Jim Irwin on the successful 1971 NASA trip to the Moon. When they returned to Earth, the crew found themselves in the midst of a scandal, accused of being paid to take souvenir items into space. Although they denied this, they were grounded from then on. By the summer of 1972, the U.S. Senate was involved, and Congresswoman Leonor Sullivan wanted to know "what's going on at NASA." They were never charged with violating law or NASA regulations, but it took years for the three flyers to get their good names back. Worden, now in his late 70s, has a record that speaks for itself. He is one of "only 24 humans" who have left Earth's orbit and gone to the Moon. The author describes how astronauts need courage and skill to fly on the Apollo missions and how they had to be prepared to deal with the unexpected: "We focused on the events that could kill us and prepared for them." Apollo 15, with its on-board instruments and cameras, brought back a treasure trove of data, but they faced many potentially dangerous situations including fragments of broken glass in the weightless environment of the landing module. Worden now helps the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation fund the training of future science and technology students.On his journey, the author "discovered far more" about the Earth, not only from space, but also in the time and effort spent vindicating himself from what appears to have been an unfair scapegoating.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.