Two Sides of the Moon: Our Story of the Cold War Space Race
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Excelling in every area of mental and physical agility, Scott and Leonov became elite fighter pilots and were chosen by their countries' burgeoning space programs to take part in the greatest technological race ever-to land a man on the moon.
In this unique dual autobiography, astronaut Scott and cosmonaut Leonov recount their exceptional lives and careers spent on the cutting edge of science and space exploration. With each mission fraught with perilous risks, and each space program touched by tragedy, these parallel tales of adventure and heroism read like a modern-day thriller. Cutting fast between their differing recollections, this book reveals, in a very personal way, the drama of one of the most ambitious contests ever embarked on by man, set against the conflict that once held the world in suspense: the clash between Russian communism and Western democracy.
Before training to be the USSR's first man on the moon, Leonov became the first man to walk in space. It was a feat that won him a place in history but almost cost him his life. A year later, in 1966, Gemini 8, with David Scott and Neil Armstrong aboard, tumbled out of control across space. Surviving against dramatic odds-a split-second decision by pilot Armstrong saved their lives-they both went on to fly their own lunar missions: Armstrong to command Apollo 11 and become the first man to walk on the moon, and Scott to perform an EVA during the Apollo 9 mission and command the most complex expedition in the history of exploration, Apollo 15. Spending three days on the moon, Scott became the seventh man to walk on its breathtaking surface.
Marking a new age of USA/USSR cooperation, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project brought Scott and Leonov together, finally ending the Cold War silence and building a friendship that would last for decades.
Their courage, passion for exploration, and determination to push themselves to the limit emerge in these memoirs not only through their triumphs but also through their perseverance in times of extraordinary difficulty and danger.
Sometimes Al Worden joined in these training sessions, in preparation for an EVA he would be performing during our return from the Moon. As the plane, roughly the size of a Boeing 707, flew continuous parabolic arcs, shifting from two Gs to zero gravity again and again like a roller coaster, we practiced some of the more complex activities we would be performing. To prepare Jim and me for our time on the lunar surface, a mock-up of the forward hatch and front porch of the Lunar Module was bolted
the Soviet Union, to be more exact. Most of our instructors were professional military men on a three-year tour. Almost all of them were Second World War vets. I remember we had one guy who was part of General Patton’s 3rd Army. He used to lecture in military tactics. He was a firebrand. He was exciting. He’d get his pointer out and ask us the all-important question, “Where’s the next war gonna be?” Then, without waiting for a reply, he’d thwack the stick down on the table and answer himself:
tense moments were transmitted via Honeysuckle Creek relay station in Australia (someone there told us later that Captain Cook’s ship Endeavour had also sprung a leak on her voyage to Australia). Despite this slight delay in communications, it took Houston only six minutes to come back with a set of instructions they believed would solve the problem. It didn’t. The water continued leaking at a steady rate. It was nearly a quarter of an hour after I first noticed the problem before Houston came
kids, and it was a great, very sociable environment. Few of us had owned a home before and many had not lived in civilian neighborhoods, so it was quite a change from what we had been used to. Almost as soon as we arrived in Houston Life magazine signed us up for exclusive rights. Since the late 1950s the magazine had had an exclusive contract for the astronauts’ personal stories. The Original Seven had been given extremely lucrative contracts but by the time we came along the offer was
had seemed easy. All the marches, parades, grand music and medals in honor of cosmonauts had made the space program seem like an elaborate exercise. Now people realized that being a cosmonaut did not necessarily lead to fame and public acclaim: it could also lead to death. The public started to appreciate the real dangers involved, as, I believe, the American public did after the Apollo 1 fire. More resources were made available to our space program, although they never matched the huge amount of