The Real Space Cowboys ISBN 9781894959216

$ 36.95 Canadian
$ 29.95 American
£ 17.95 UK

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Huntsville Times
The Turtle Club


The Real Space Cowboys
by Ed Buckbee with Wally Schirra

Listen to the 1st Space Show Interview with Wally and Ed
Listen to the 2nd Space Show Interview with Ed

In 1959, seven U.S. military fighter pilots were selected to train as America's first astronauts. Alan Shepard, Gordon Cooper, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra and Deke Slayton would become known as the Mercury Seven (M7). These men, who had jockeyed for the best flying jobs in the military, began competing for rides on rockets. Most would eventually vie for the ultimate ride to the moon.
The author Ed Buckbee, who has enjoyed a 40+ year association with the U.S. manned space flight program, follows these brave men who pioneered the U.S. space program. Through time and personal friendships, he captures dreams of flying higher, faster and farther than anyone in the known universe. Readers are invited behind the scenes to witness the competition between chimpanzees and astronauts, and the conflict between NASA engineers designing capsules and those who would pilot them. Through this book, readers feel the collective will of a nation to defeat the Russians in an all-out space race via an American team of 400,000 engineers, technicians, astronauts and support personnel who performed as if the country were at war.
The eras of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo-- these were times of nobility and humility, but also times of arrogance, tension, and from time-to-time, humor. "Gotcha's" were commonplace astronaut pranks and a dubious answer to the question, "Are you a turtle?" resulted in a healthy bar tab.
In Wernher von Braun, discover a man who was committed to living in a new frontier. His words, "late to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise," are a testament to multi-tasking. Von Braun, the German-born rocket scientist and visionary of space flight, convinced presidents and congressmen to spend millions exploring space for peaceful purposes.
But what of our first space heroes after the Apollo program was completed? Accepting the call of Project Mercury meant a lifetime commitment. Their work continued with motivational programs for youth through the U.S. Space Camp programs, public programs at institutions such as the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, and others. The author himself shared the task of motivating the next generation through creation of U.S. Space Camp and the Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Shepard is a prominent figure in the book. Together, he and the author prepared anniversary presentations, articles and TV interviews. They traveled to seven countries and more than twenty-five states marketing and opening Space Camps. They designed, developed and built the U. S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. As Shepard proclaimed upon Buckbee's retirement from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, "He's a space relic. We need to keep him and put him on exhibit in that space museum and when he dies, bury him next to that damn monkey."

200 Pages
8 color pages
24 B&W Glossy pages
Includes bonus DVD-10 with rare film footage

1972 Interview with Wernher von Braun,    30th Anniversary Documentary on Skylab,
"Gotcha" film about Alan Shepard,     Astronaut Hall of Fame Film - Reach For The Stars,
1997 Panel Discussion at Pensacola with Armstrong, Shepard, Lovell, Aldrin & Cernan
2002 Panel Discussion at Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum with the Mercury Astronauts,
"Gotcha" Documentary - The Lighthouse Never Fails
Wernher von Braun Documentary - From the Valley to the Moon,
Documentary - The Flight of Freedom 7,      Mercury Astronauts Documentary - The First,
"Gotcha" film of Apollo 12

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