First Man

First Man

The Life of Neil A. Armstrong

Downloadable Audiobook - 2005
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On July 20, 1969, the world stood still to watch 38-year-old American astronaut Neil A. Armstrong become the first person ever to step on the surface of another heavenly body. Upon his return to Earth, Armstrong was celebrated for his monumental achievement. He was also--as NASA historian Hansen reveals in this authorized biography--misunderstood. Armstrong's accomplishments as an engineer, a test pilot, and an astronaut have long been a matter of record, but Hansen's access to private documents and unpublished sources and his interviews with more than 125 subjects (including more than fifty hours with Armstrong himself) yield the first in-depth analysis of this elusive, reluctant hero. Hansen recreates Armstrong's flying career, from his combat missions over North Korea to his transatmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to the first-ever docking in space. For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong's storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children--From publisher description.
Publisher: [New York] : Simon & Schuster Audio, 2005.
ISBN: 9780743590815
0743590813
Summary: On July 20, 1969, the world stood still to watch 38-year-old American astronaut Neil A. Armstrong become the first person ever to step on the surface of another heavenly body. Upon his return to Earth, Armstrong was celebrated for his monumental achievement. He was also--as NASA historian Hansen reveals in this authorized biography--misunderstood. Armstrong's accomplishments as an engineer, a test pilot, and an astronaut have long been a matter of record, but Hansen's access to private documents and unpublished sources and his interviews with more than 125 subjects (including more than fifty hours with Armstrong himself) yield the first in-depth analysis of this elusive, reluctant hero. Hansen recreates Armstrong's flying career, from his combat missions over North Korea to his transatmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to the first-ever docking in space. For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong's storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children--From publisher description.

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m
mexicanadiense
Jan 10, 2014

This has been an amazing audiobook experience, far better than anticipated. For one thing, the author's portrayal of Armstrong is hardly a hagiography, which was a relief. His many virtues were dutifully reported, but I was amazed at how critical the narrative was of certain highly personal episodes and Armstrong's reactions to them, such as the death of his daughter Karen. But what made the experience much more memorable for me was the seamless integration of actual recordings of the historic communications between the Apollo 11 astronauts and Mission Control. When it came time for the "eternally famous words" Armstrong uttered upon stepping out onto the lunar surface, I confess I was thoroughly moved...and I was born 10 years after the landing!

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m
mexicanadiense
Jan 10, 2014

That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.

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