Steve Van Slyke's Reviews > Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journey

Carrying the Fire by Michael  Collins
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's review
Mar 06, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: space
Recommended for: Anyone interested in the Apollo Era
Read from October 08 to 13, 2011 — I own a copy

This is the 18th book that I've read about space exploration and the 5th astronaut biography or autobiography. What I like about this one is Collins' honesty and openness. For example he talks about getting sick or nearly so on the Zero-G KC135 aircraft, AKA the “Vomit Comet.” And in another instance he shares his nearly debilitating (at times) claustrophobia while sealed in his Apollo pressure suit. (He did not apparently have the same problem in his Gemini suit.)

I also enjoyed the occasions when he delved into some of the basics of astronavigation using sextants to measure the angles between stars or between a star and earth or moon horizons. He generally goes into more interesting details of the actual business of a moon flight than I have read in other books on the subject.

At the time of the writing Collins said that he knew much less than one might expect of the feelings of his crewmates, Armstrong and Aldrin, about their space travels, that when they communicate with one another it's usually about technical issues, rarely feelings. It would be interesting, since they are all now in their 80's, to know if this has changed over the years.

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