Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Real Space Cowboys [Paperback]

Ed Buckbee , Wally Schirra


Available from these sellers.


Save Up to 90% on Textbooks
Hit the books in Amazon.ca's Textbook Store and save up to 90% on used textbooks and 35% on new textbooks. Learn more.
Join Amazon Student in Canada


Book Description

May 1 2005 1894959213 978-1894959216 1
The tension-filled careers of the Mercury Seven, a handful of elite fighter pilots selected as America's first astronauts, is traced in this account of the dreams and nightmares of the early days of the U.S. manned space program. A behind-the-scenes look at the competitive and often arrogant atmosphere of the initiative—including details on the struggles of deciding whether to send chimpanzees or humans to space and the conflicts between NASA engineers and astronauts—is included along with an account of the program's moments of humor, from recurrent "gotcha" training session pranks to the round of drinks that a dubious answer to the question Are you a turtle? could entail. While most of these men eventually made it to space and even the moon, their lives as a part of NASA continued long after. The story of their work with motivational programs such as the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, U.S. Space Camp, and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is also included.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Product Description

From Booklist

The head of Space Camp (Buckbee) and a distinguished retired astronaut and raconteur tell the story of the American space program, through the moon landings. Originally conceived as a tribute to mutual friend Alan Shepard, the first American to orbit the earth, the book ends up providing capsule biographies of all of the Mercury Seven, the additional astronauts who landed on the moon, astronauts who didn't return safely, and nonastronauts who were key figures in getting into space, such as John F. Kennedy and Wernher von Braun. Buckbee and Schirra maintain a sense of proportion, and also of humor, about the perils, promises, frustrations, and failures of those days. They remind us that the Apollo pad fire that killed Gus Grissom and his crew nearly produced the degree of panic that the more recent shuttle crashes have--and that the space program keeps going. Schirra gets and takes the last chance to flavor the book by drawing on his matchless collection of anecdotes. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Ed Buckbee is a former director of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and a NASA public affairs officer who worked with the astronauts of the early Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. He works as an advisor and consultant for NASA and is a sought-after spokesman and advocate for the continued exploration of space. He lives in Huntsville, Alabama. Wally Schirra is the only Mercury astronaut who flew in all three of the nation's pioneering space programs: Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. During the Apollo moon landing missions he was an on-air colleague of CBS-TV's Walter Cronkite. He was also instrumental in starting the Space Camp program in Huntsville, Alabama, in the early 1980's.

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.ca
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding ride through NASA's Golden Age June 13 2005
By Jack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It's a great pity that Al Shepard never wrote a decent autobiography (the hack-written, ghosted "Moon Shot" isn't even worth mentioning), and the one adult-reader biography about him, written long after his death, suffers from some pretty elementary factual errors and a lack of knowing the subject first hand.

With this book, we finally get to know the guy. Plus the long-dead Deke Slayton, Wernher von Braun, and others who never told their story off-the-cuff in this way.

Buckbee was there, and saw it all. More importantly, he taped it, and wrote it down, and the guys all trusted him implicitly. So reading this book is like having long-lost relatives come to life and tell you their most personal stories. This book tells you what it was REALLY like to be one of the original astronauts - and it sounds like a hell of a lot of fun.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Real Space Cowboys" Picks Up Where "Right Stuff" Left Off Sept. 3 2005
By Mark F. Mccarter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In a tribute to colleague Gordon Cooper in October 2004, Scott Carpenter said, "Nearly 50 years ago, a small group of American men were given a special charge by this nation to ensure pre-eminence in space ... We were welded into a fraternity that had no equal at the time."
[...] They were the men who flew on our black-and-white TV sets in our homes and schools, majestic heroes exploring the last frontier. We knew them then from media reports, later from books like "The Right Stuff." (By the way, to a man, the Mercury 7 were irritated by the Hollywood-ization done to the movie version of the book.)
"The Real Space Cowboys" picks up where "The Right Stuff" left off. It's contemplative and insightful, as if only years later did these men appreciate the enormity of their accomplishments. It's a "Greatest Generation" sort of reflection on their part, through interviews, anecdotes and first-person accounts.
Along with the Mercury 7, there is another central character in the book, Dr. Wernher von Braun, the German rocket scientist whose skills in persuasion to get the space program launched and to motivate his teams of engineers and worker was matched only by his scientific genius.
"I liked that the book brought von Braun to the surface," Schirra said in an interview. "People didn't know much about him. He was a very gracious man who did some amazing things."
This is the ultimate insider book. Ed Buckbee, the author, worked with von Braun at Marshall Space Flight Center and as a NASA public affairs officer worked with all the astronauts who flew the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions.
He was selected by von Braun to create and manage the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., and was founder of the U.S. Space Camp and, along with the Mercury 7, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame near Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Schirra shrugged off his role here as "editing and verifying a lot of things." If that's not just mere modesty, he has to be the most accomplished fact-checker in publishing history, the only man to travel in Mercury, Gemini and Apollo flights.
Along with a gallery of photos displayed throughout, the book comes with a DVD that has save-for-your-grandchildren moments, like a mini-documentary on Shepard's first flight, as well as some whimsical moments with elaborate practical jokes. "Levity is lubricant of crises," Schirra said, explaining the astronauts' love of a good "gotcha."
The fun-loving side -- Shepard once borrowed an Indy 500 race car and drove it onto Johnson Space Center, just to trump Schirra's pride in a new Ferrari -- mixes wonderfully and entertainingly with the contemplative side in this book.
What Buckbee and Schirra proved conclusively in "The Real Space Cowboys" is there was plenty of fascinating stuff to write, years after "The Right Stuff."

-- Mark McCarter, columnist, The Huntsville (Ala.) Times
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy on Huntsville Dec 26 2005
By Ben B. Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a valuable and interesting contribution to the early history of the United States space program. Probably due to the close involvement of the primary author with Wernher von Braun, there is an unexpectedly high proportion of the book devoted to those aspects of the space program related to Huntsville and the von Braun team's efforts there. This is not at all apparent from publicity releases about the book, or even from the cover of the book itself. While there is significant information contained in the book about the Mercury astronauts, its greater contribution is in its Huntsville-related content, which has not received such a degree of attention in most similar publications. Those who were involved in the program at Huntsville in those early days will find the book especially appealing.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting chronicle of the inside story of the space race. Oct. 7 2005
By David L Goodman MD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Both Buckbee and Schirra do an equitable job of describing the details inside the race to the moon. The Apogee publication, however, suffers from poor editing and numerous errors. All in all, a creditable job by the authors, and an accurate insight into the American race for space, particularly the characterizations of von Braun and the M7.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for space buffs... July 4 2006
By Paul E. Straus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was lucky enough to hear Ed speak while I was attending Teacher Space Camp and was totally sucked in by his incredible backstories of the original astronauts and the "US Space Race". If you have any interest in the space program, this is a must read. Ed and Wally do a great job in letting you know the men behind the legends and just how much fun they really are (were).

Look for similar items by category


Feedback