The basis of the 2014 award-winning feature-length documentary! A revealing and dramatic look at the inside of the American Space Program from one of its pioneers.
Eugene Cernan was a unique American who came of age as an astronaut during the most exciting and dangerous decade of spaceflight. His career spanned the entire Gemini and Apollo programs, from being the first person to spacewalk all the way around our world to the moment when he left man's last footprint on the Moon as commander of Apollo 17.
Between those two historic events lay more adventures than an ordinary person could imagine as Cernan repeatedly put his life, his family and everything he held dear on the altar of an obsessive desire. Written with New York Times bestselling author Don Davis, The Last Man on the Moon is the astronaut story never before told - about the fear, love and sacrifice demanded of the few men who dared to reach beyond the heavens for the biggest prize of all - the Moon.
Gemini and Apollo astronaut Cernan, helped by Davis (A Father's Rage, etc.), takes readers with him on one great space adventure after another--including Gemini 9's "Spacewalk from Hell," Apollo 1's fire, Snoopy's hair-raising swoop by the lunar surface. Readers experience the agony of life-or-death decision making in the Apollo 13 control room, exult with Cernan and geologist Jack Schmitt throughout the mission of Apollo 17 and meet legendary characters of the astronaut corps and the technical and political leaders who shared their glory. Cernan reveals the risk-taking, competitive personality and oversized self-confidence that drove his success as a test pilot and astronaut. He also acknowledges his failings as a husband to his first wife, Barbara, whom he presents as a quiet, strong homefront heroine who always found the right words in public despite her private difficulties. However, careful readers may see more of Cernan than he intended to display. His admiration and friendship may justify letting Wernher von Braun and Spiro Agnew off the hook for what many consider their political and personal misdeeds, but his unforgiving view of Buzz Aldrin seems to stem from personal animus. Why must the last man on the moon demean the second? (" came flapping into my office at the Manned Spacecraft Center one day like an angry stork..."). Despite the bad taste of Cernan's words about Aldrin, this is an exciting, insider's take on what it was like to become one of the first humans in space. 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW.
So pleasantly surprised and appreciative to be taken along on such journeys. Many, many thoughtful details and sentiments, ranging large to small. Excellent.
I finally understand
Gene Cernan definitely made me think that astronauts aren't just hero's because of what they have experienced but the sacrifices and both physical and mental challenges they endured. I want to that Gene and all his fellow astronauts for giving us such great accomplishments. We must never forget that when we don't push for exploration we will fall into mediocrity which is not acceptable.
Everyone that has ever wondered if man really went to the moon must read this book. Thanks Gene!
Wonderful insight into an almost forgotten age.