The Astronaut Maker

How One Mysterious Engineer Ran Human Spaceflight for a Generation
Narrated by: Eric Martin
Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the most elusive and controversial figures in NASA's history, George W. S. Abbey was called "the Dark Lord", "the Godfather", and "UNO" (unidentified NASA official) by those within NASA. He was said to be secretive, despotic, a Space Age Machiavelli. Yet Abbey had more influence on human spaceflight than almost anyone in history.

From young pilot and wannabe astronaut to engineer, bureaucrat, and finally director of the Johnson Space Center ("mission control"), Abbey's story has never been fully told - until now. The Astronaut Maker takes listeners inside NASA to learn the real story of how Abbey rose to power and wielded it out of the spotlight. Over a 37-year career, he oversaw the selection of every astronaut class from 1978 to 1987, deciding who got to fly, and when; was with the Apollo 1 astronauts the night before the fire that killed them in January 1967; was in mission control the night of the Apollo 13 accident and organized the recovery effort; led NASA's recruitment of women and minorities as Space Shuttle astronauts - including hiring Sally Ride; and much more. 

By the coauthor of the acclaimed astronaut memoirs DEKE! and We Have Capture and informed by countless hours of interviews with Abbey and his family, friends, adversaries, and former colleagues, The Astronaut Maker is the ultimate insider's account of ambition and power politics at NASA.

©2018 St. Croix Productions, Inc. (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about The Astronaut Maker

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A fantastic read!

Astronaut Maker seems reductive as a title for such an interesting and unique individual! astronaut maker, JSC chief, the quintessential "NASA OFFICIAL"

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Informative

informative but would have liked more about technology and process and a few less names

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Wonderful Historical Biography of a True Space Icon

I have been a fan of the space program since I was 9 years old back in 1959. I had this privilege of presenting hey series of safety presentations back 2000/2001 for a program George Abbey created called STEP, Safety Through Everyone's Participation. I learned so much from this book about an amazing safety leader. I have often referred to Mr. Abbey's safety focus when I speak to corporate leaders around the world.
The stories told are a joy to read and the audio book is also a great way to enjoy it. I am sure I will listen to it many more times.
Thanks to George Abbey, his friends and associates who gave Michael Cassutt such great content.
If you want to learn more about manned exploration in space you'll love this book.