Sunday, 19 July 2009

The Third Man

Carrying the Fire - Michael Collins

There have been many books written about the Apollo 11 mission, some shortly after the success and many more in the 40 years since. This is reissue of an autobiography first published in 1974.

Collins is the often over-looked third member of the Apollo 11 crew. While Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon he remained in the command module awaiting their return, knowing that if anything went wrong on the lunar surface he would have to return to Earth alone.

This book is a stunning read, Collins comes across as a very humble and down-to-earth guy. He mixes personal details, mission details and a some technical details in a way that makes the story fascinating and even the most un-mathematical, un-scientific person (me!) can follow the whole story and understand exactly why the missions were so incredible.

I've been lucky enough to meet several astronauts in the past year but I'd travel across continents for the chance to meet Collins.

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