# Great Book...

### Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

##### Well-Known Member
Failure Is Not An Option

If you are looking for a good book, this one captured my attention, and that's saying something. Takes you all along the Space program from Mercury to Apollo. Gene Kranz really did a nice job of re-living each of the missions.

I'm looking forward to Chris Kraft's book next. Will update when I do finally ready it.

Failure Is Not An Option

thanks

#### illini

##### Well-Known Member
Yup, this is definitely one of the best of the "space autobiographies" out there. It is particularly interesting if read with an eye toward gaining insight into early NASA culture which you can then compare and contrast with the present. Bottom line to me is this: In that era everything was new and everybody had a palpable sense of the risks and dangers they were facing. It kept everyone on edge and constantly questioning their own judgement and that of those around them. Fast forward to the present era. Challenger disaster. Columbia disaster. Both times NASA is cited for an overconfidence that masked real problems.

#### rstaff3

##### Oddroc-eteer
This was a great book. You can see what i thought here https://rocketmanic66.tripod.com/averageguys/id48.html

I agree with you comments illini868891. One counter point however is that people forget just how many times NASA barely avoided disaster/loss of life in the early days. The were good engineers, but they had their share of luck also. System complexity had a big part also. Maybe this wasn't a counterpoint, just a comment.

#### illini

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by rstaff3
One counter point however is that people forget just how many times NASA barely avoided disaster/loss of life in the early days. The were good engineers, but they had their share of luck also. System complexity had a big part also. Maybe this wasn't a counterpoint, just a comment.
No doubt about it. Its not that problems didn't happen then...problems are natural in a complex system like that. My feeling is that the NASA culture back then was more capable of dealing with problems precisely because everybody expected them and was on edge looking for them. Yeah, disasters were narrowly avoided many times as Kranz wrote in his book. But what's really telling is how even today, nearly 40 years after those events, those problems still loom large in his consciousness. The book reveals a mindset conditioned not by success, but by the expectation of disaster. That, I think, is the key difference between NASA's culture now and then.

Agreed.

#### rabidsheeep

##### Well-Known Member
the history channel had a special where the writer of the book helped make a show for them, and it was incredible

#### Chilly

##### Well-Known Member
It is a great book, and I was fortunate enough to get a signed copy!
Kraft's "Flight" is also very good, and he doesn't pull any punches. In particular, there was an incident with Gene Cernan that was quite interesting to read in comparison with Cernan's side of the story in his own book.

#### Pippen

##### Well-Known Member
Hardceover copies of "Flight" were at The Dollar Store for $1 not long ago. I picked one up even though I had already splurged on a paperback copy for about$2.50 at Barnes and Nobles.

#### DynaSoar

##### Well-Known Member
Failure Is Not An Option

GENE ROCKS.

THIS is the kind of people we need in charge. The kind of people who can not only make it happen, but make it happen in spite of. Chris Kraft is good, but Gene's the kind of person who doesn't even stop to kick ***; he just tells you it's kicked, and so it is, and on with the job at hand.

#### brianc

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by rabidsheeep
the history channel had a special where the writer of the book helped make a show for them, and it was incredible
Every so often, the NASA channel runs a show with Gene at a book signing.
He covers several of the stories from the book. To hear him speak, with all
the raw emotion and energy... really gives you a great perspective on the
whole book.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

#### Weekends

##### Well-Known Member
I am about half way through this book. It is a must read.

Weekends