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Unlike other American astronauts, Virgil I. ““Gus”“Grissom never had the chance to publish his memoirs. Killed along with his crewin a launch pad fire on January 27, 1967, Grissom also lost his chance to walkon the moon and return to describe his journey. Others went in his place. Thestories of the moon walkers are familiar. Less appreciated are Grissom’scontributions.
The international prestige of winning the Moon Race cannotbe understated, and Grissom played a pivotal and enduring role in securing thatlegacy for the United States. Indeed, Grissom was first and foremost a ColdWarrior, a member of the first group of Mercury astronauts whose goal it was tobeat the Soviet Union into space and eventually to the moon.
Drawing on extensive interviews with fellow astronauts, NASA engineers, family members, and friends of Gus Grissom, George Leopold deliversa comprehensive and corrective account of Grissom’s life that places his careerin the context of the Cold War and the history of human spaceflight.
Calculated Risk: TheSupersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom adds significantly to ourunderstanding of that tumultuous and ultimately triumphant period in American history.
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