Forever Young: A Life of Adventure in Air and Space

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9780813042091: Forever Young: A Life of Adventure in Air and Space

He walked on the Moon. He flew six space missions in three different programs—more than any other human. He served with NASA for more than four decades. His peers called him the “astronaut’s astronaut.”
          Enthusiasts of space exploration have long waited for John Young to tell the story of his two Gemini flights, his two Apollo missions, the first-ever Space Shuttle flight, and the first Spacelab mission. Forever Young delivers all that and more: Young’s personal journey from engineering graduate to fighter pilot, to test pilot, to astronaut, to high NASA official, to clear-headed predictor of the fate of Planet Earth.
          Young, with the assistance of internationally distinguished aerospace historian James Hansen, recounts the great episodes of his amazing flying career in fascinating detail and with wry humor. He portrays astronauts as ordinary human beings and NASA as an institution with the same ups and downs as other major bureaucracies. He frankly discusses the risks of space travel, including what went wrong with the Challenger and Columbia shuttles.
          Forever Young is one of the last memoirs produced by an early American astronaut. It is the first memoir written by a chief of the NASA astronaut corps. Young’s experiences and candor make this book indispensable to everyone interested in the U.S. space program.

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From the Inside Flap:

He is one of the very few people to have walked on the Moon—and the only one of those to also pilot the space shuttle. He flew six missions in three different programs—more than any other human. He served with NASA for more than four decades. His peers called him the “astronaut’s astronaut.” Recruited at the same time as Neil Armstrong and other aeronautical pioneers, John Young’s career, accomplishments, and longevity within the space program are simply unmatched.
          Enthusiasts of space exploration have long waited for Young to tell the story of his two Gemini flights, his two Apollo missions, the first-ever Space Shuttle flight, and the first Spacelab mission. Forever Young delivers all that and more: Young’s personal journey from engineering graduate to fighter pilot, to test pilot, to astronaut, to high NASA official, to clear-headed predictor of the fate of Planet Earth.
          Young provides an antidote to the typical memoir that celebrates astronaut bravado and successes while at the same time contributing to the NASA mystique. With the assistance of internationally distinguished aerospace historian James Hansen, he recounts the great episodes of his amazing flying career in fascinating detail and with wry humor. He portrays astronauts as ordinary human beings and NASA as an institution with the same ups and downs as other major bureaucracies.
          Young, a consummate engineer, provides insights into not only his historic lunar walk and storied career as a shuttle pilot, but also into such space events as the Apollo-Soyuz joint mission and the Challenger and Columbia disasters. In recent years, Young has become well-known for his prognostications about the future of our planet, believing it is only a matter of time before a massive asteroid hits Earth, and in this volume he suggests ways to prevent it.
          Long after his compatriots retired from space exploration or moved on to other occupations, Young remained in Houston, acting as a senior technical advisor, where he helped plan and design future missions, trying to make space flight safer for those who would follow in his illustrious footsteps.
          Forever Young is one of the last memoirs produced by an early American astronaut, yet the first written by a chief of the NASA astronaut corps. Young’s experiences and candor make this book indispensable to everyone interested in the U.S. space program.

 John W. Young, retired astronaut and former NASA executive, has received more than eighty major awards for his career in aerospace, including six honorary doctorates. James R. Hansen is professor of history and former director of the Honors College at Auburn University. He has been associated with the NASA History Program for the past thirty-one years and is the author of First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong and coauthor of Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle “Challenger” Disaster.

From the Back Cover:

“John Young has been at the center of human spaceflight since the mid-1960s, and his revealing autobiography speaks to internal issues, external possibilities, and the commitment of this individual to the movement of humanity beyond earth.”—Roger D. Launius, senior curator, space history, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

 “Young covers over forty years of NASA history in this breakthrough memoir, one that will inspire admiration for his achievements but also raise questions about the overall American space-faring enterprise.”—Michael H. Gorn, author of NASA: The Complete Illustrated History

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Young, John W.
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