Irreverent, provocative, and filled with fascinating anecdotes, this autobiography by one of America's first astronauts offers a revealing inside look at the early days of space flight and the men who captured the heart of the nation. Wally Schirra was the only one of the original seven NASA astronauts to command a spacecraft in all three pioneering space programs - Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. This chronicle of his experiences takes us into space on Schirra's 1962 Mercury flight that orbited Earth six times and aboard Gemini for the first rendezvous of two manned craft in space. Never reluctant to discuss the problems along with the stunning successes of those exciting, formative years, Schirra openly describes the pressures, tensions, and dangers associated with a launch. Nor does he confine himself to his days as an astronaut. He also speaks about his career as a navy pilot, which began in 1947 with biplanes, transitioned to jets for combat missions over Korea, and ended with rockets in space.
©1988 by Walter M. Schirra, Jr., and Richard N. Billings; (P)2000 by the Naval Institute Press