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Riding Rockets

I just finished reading Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut by Mike Mullane. Mullane's book is an entertaining and informative account of his years as a Space Shuttle astronaut.

Mullane gives insight into the managerial culture at NASA which led to the Challenger and Columbia accidents and the NASA office politics which affected him personally. But it's the details of astronaut life which he reveals that make this book special.

His ordeals with medical tests and learning to use the shuttle's high-tech toilet are told with humorous effect. He describes how he overcome his "Planet Arrested Development" background to learn to work with, and respect the work of, the women in the shuttle program. A significant portion of the book deals with his friendship with Judy Resnik who died in the Challenger accident. And he describes viewing earth from the orbiter as only a poet could.

I highly recommend Riding Rockets to all adults (portions aren't suitable for kids) who are interested in astronauts and space exploration.

[Posted: 2006-05-17 | Updated: 2006-09-01]

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