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Live from Cape Canaveral

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  188 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Some fifty years ago, while a cub reporter, Jay Barbree caught space fever the night that Sputnik passed over Georgia. He moved to the then-sleepy village of Cocoa Beach, Florida, right outside Cape Canaveral, and began reporting on rockets that fizzled as often as they soared. In "Live from Cape Canaveral," Barbree—the only reporter who has covered every mission flown by ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2007)
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Although the author's covered the space effort from the beginning, the book treats the early days with the most detail. Reading this book, like many others that cover that period, you realize what a strong effort and dedication went into putting people on the moon. You also quickly realize how little focus and accomplishment has happened since that point.
Apr 11, 2008 Stephy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Stephy by: my public library
I remember Sputnik. I remember lying on my back in the back yard, taking turns watching it pass over head, my mother's telescope set up in front and my father's telescope set up in back. I was enchanted. The whole world of grown-ups went nuts. Bomb shelters, space ships on the news, one failure after another, the names Redstone, Mercury, seared into our brains.

I had just discovered Robert Heinlein, and it all seemed to be falling into place the way it should. And we made it! We got to the Moon!
Alan Livingston
This is a very well-written book about the history of manned space flight from its beginning to fifty years later, from the eyes of a guy who was there for ALL of it. Jay Barbree was there for EVERYTHING, but he manages to tell this without banging his own drum, without sounding self-serving at all. (I know he was there because I remember he was there!) He shares inside information and anecdotal support for many of the events without putting the spotlight on himself. If you have any interest at ...more
Rachel Rogers
Enjoyable enough read. He reached the point of prosletizing a few times which got a bit old, especially in the last chapter. The analysis of the early days of NASA and how it all happened was fascinating. The review of Apollo 13 was fascinating and interestingly shortened from what Lovell discusses in his book on the topic. The Challenger and Columbia disasters (not to mention the terrifying Apollo 1) were revealing and interesting without being morbid. His anger about Columbia is warranted, I t ...more
Patrick Pilz
Read it as a prep-book for my visit to Cape Canaveral. A personal story of journalism and a celebration of NBC News in the context of space travel. It is a fast and easy read, but it does not have much substance. A nice primer on the topic, but not more.
Bill S.
For anyone old enough to remember Alan Shepard's first flight into space, or John Glenn's first orbital mission, then the Gemini flights leading to the Apollo program Barbree's book will be most enjoyable.

Reliving those heady days through the author's reminiscences as well as those of the astronauts themselves in addition to those of insiders at NASA give this book a glimpse as to what we didn't see at the time.

Nor is it just a plug for all things space. Barbree takes the space agency to task fo
An enjoyable book. The author is a journalist who has covered every manned US space flight from Alan Shephard to the final space shuttle. He is friends with many of the early astronauts and able to offer behind the scenes insights and anecdotes on the exciting period of the race to the moon. The book offers plenty of information on the entire space program, including the Challenger disaster, but is especially informative on the early days of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. I've read numerous books o ...more
very good read. it's one of those books you cant put down. lot of good detailed info about America's early space program.
A really engrossing memoir of a life reporting on the US space program with especially entertaining anecdotes of the early Mercury and Gemini days. The stories of the how these cosmic heroes prepared for their missions, relaxed, and the brotherhood are a must read for any space enthusiast. Barbee's coverage of the President Carter's election run makes for an earth-bound change of pace that reads as interesting as anything else in the book. Barbee clearly believes in the goals of the space progra ...more
Ron Brown
This book is a quick, easy read that covers the entire history of the United States manned spaceflight program. I have read many biographies of people inside NASA and this book does not go into the detail that any of those books do. But it has the advantage of covering everything from the Mercury 7 to the Columbia disaster. I also found the perspective of an outsider interesting compared to that of the insiders from within NASA. At times Barbee is a little toward fawning about astronauts and I w ...more
Kenneth Flusche
Best history of American Space I have ever read. A bonus it reminded my of auther Martin Caidin.
Chase Clark
This was a very good book. One of the best things I've read in years. If you are interested in the early to present history of space travel, then Barbree will fill you in with facts of the space race as well as a plethora of first-hand stories about the hijinks of the astronauts, the creativity of those at NASA and the politics so intertwined with NASA and its exploration of the cosmos. I thought it was a brilliant book but was left wondering how many other stories were left out due to space con ...more
Name dropping like I expected, but by the end the inside jokes got so thick I could barely follow.
I've read a few books about the space program. What makes this one unique is that it is told by a journalist who has covered every launch in NASA's history. During his tenure at NBC covering the space program, Jay Barbree has gotten to know many astronauts.

This book not only goes into the history of the Mercury, Apollo, and space shuttle programs, but also the personal lives of the astronauts and the behind-the-scenes at NASA.

Barbree has lived a very interesting life and I'm glad he was able to
Jo Haight
For someone who lived in Cocoa Beach during most of this time period, this is a fun read. I knew the astronauts had smuggled a Wolfie's sandwich on-board, but didn't know they'd tested for an anti-crumb factor by dropping specimens from the top of a step-ladder in the Wolfie's kitchen. He also covers the 3 space tragedies with heart.
Ross L.
Jay Barbree was a journalist who started reporting on NASA and space exploration in the late 1950's. He followed it through to the space shuttle era. Interesting insights into the network/media coverage of the technology and more importantly the first astronauts who were media darlings. Nothing earth shattering but an enjoyable read.
Patrick Nichol
The Reporter with The Right Stuff.

This is Barbree's compelling account of the entire U.S. space program, from Mercury to the Space Shuttle.

It's chock-full of fascinating anecdotes and little-known trivia about the atronauts on man's greatest adventure.
I read it at the same time that the Discovery Series "When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions." They complimented each other nicely. This book provided a lot more detail and some background on the individuals who pioneered space flight for America.
Cindy White
It was so much fun reliving the excitement of living in the Space Coast during the late 60's and 70's. History was being made right before our eyes. It just got a little old after awhile and apparent that Jay Barbree is full of himself.
Bill Radcliff
It was a good read but thought it was a little light on details. I was hoping for more as I grew up during the Apollo Program. It is a must read for anyone that followed the space program
A little self-promoting.

The most interesting part of this book was the few times it gave the Soviet side of the space race. It was very brief, but still fun to read.
This book is a brief history of the manned space program with interesting anecdotes about the astronauts. If you're interested in NASA, I highly recommend this book.
Alex Rogers
Good research, great detail, fascinating subject - just a pity that his writing is not more interesting or dynamic - I struggled to stay engaged.
I enjoyed learning the history of the space race, the people that developed it and why. Very informative.
Great first-hand account of the space program from the reporter who covered every launch.
John Burton
Great personal accounting of the history of great pioneers and the spaceport.
Patrick Irvin
Patrick Irvin marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2015
Dominick Forte
Dominick Forte marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2015
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Jay Barbree (born 1933) is a correspondent for NBC News, focusing on space travel. Barbree is the only journalist to have covered every manned space mission in the United States, beginning with the first American in space, Alan Shepard aboard Freedom 7 in 1961, continuing through to the latest mission, Atlantis's STS-132 mission in May 2010. Barbree has been present for 132 space shuttle launches, ...more
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