Shuttle, Houston: My Life in the Center Seat of Mission Control

Hachette. Jul. 2020. ISBN 9780316454575. $28. SCI.
With NASA and SpaceX making history in May 2020 with the first flight into orbit from American soil in a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft, the United States has entered a new era in Space Exploration. As the U.S. embraces commercial enterprises running critical components of its space program, Dye, NASA’s longest-serving flight director, assesses the successes and failures of previous missions, and reflects on the future of space exploration. Dye provides an insider view of historic events like the Columbia and the Challenger explosions as well as the United States collaborating with Russia to create an international space program. The book is filled with personal stories and recollections from several of the 39 missions that Dye has been involved in, and he continues to discuss how scientists can begin to train future leaders and inspire teams. Embedded throughout the book are lessons about the importance of hearing everyone’s voice, quality assurance, and scenario planning.
VERDICT Spaceflight is an inherently risky business, and Dye sheds insight into how NASA has used culture, technology, and training to mitigate this risk. This motivating book shows people succeeding at their best: smart, cooperative, innovative, and caring.
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