Riding Rockets

Riding Rockets

The Outrageous Tales of A Space Shuttle Astronaut

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Selected as a Mission Specialist in 1978 in the first group of shuttle astronauts, Mike Mullane completed three missions and logged 356 hours aboard the Discovery and Atlantis shuttles. It was a dream come true. As a boy, Mullane could only read about space travel in science fiction, but the launch of Sputnik changed all that. Space flight became a possible dream and Mike Mullane set out to make it come true. In this absorbing memoir, Mullane gives the first-ever look into the often hilarious, sometime volatile dynamics of space shuttle astronauts - a class that included Vietnam War veterans, feminists, and propeller-headed scientists. With unprecedented candour, Mullane describes the chilling fear and unparalleled joy of space flight. As his career centred around the Challenger disaster, Mullane also recounts the heartache of burying his friends and colleagues. And he pulls no punches as he reveals the ins and outs of NASA, frank in his criticisms of the agency. A blast from start to finish, Riding Rockets is a straight-from-the-gut account of what it means to be an astronaut, just in time for this latest generation of stargazers.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster, 2007, c2006
Edition: 1st Scribner trade pbk. ed. --
ISBN: 9780743276832
Branch Call Number: 629.450092 Mulla
Characteristics: xiii, 382 p. : ill


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

May 16, 2018

Above all else, Mike Mullane speaks the unpolished truth, as viewed from his own limited perspective. He writes with brutal matter-of-factness about his own vicious narrow-minded opinions at the onset of the introduction of women and non-military doctorate astronaut candidates in the class of 1978. He writes with bitterness about the Byzantine, completely opaque selection process used by George Abby and John Young to choose astronaut crews for the STS missions. He writes with frustration about the political machinations within NASA and without that often sacrificed more long-term space goals for shorter-term public relations objectives. And he combines it all the same unfitted joy of space and exploration common within other astronaut biographies. If you have any interest in the STS program, Mullane offers a unique, invaluable perspective. Includes analysis of both the Challenger and Columbia safety failures.

Jan 09, 2017

Extremely entertaining memoir. Mullane has this great ability to tell a thigh slapping joke on one page and bring you almost to tears on the next one. If you are interested in the space program and you want a really human face on it read Riding Rockets.

A word of warning for the sensitive reader Mullane is not politically correct. He has a military aviator's black sense of humor.

nymuseum Dec 24, 2013

I read this before and as the description notes he does write about his coming to terms with women in the astro corps. He is really funny at times. Mullane does also write about the disasters and says what I presume many want to say but politically hold back. To reviewer Rowergirl25. You did not read the whole book. You may desire to be an astro but not facing honesty and brutal facts will keep you out. Astro screening is VERY heavy into abilities to deal with multifaceted persons. There is a good podcast on iTunes with Mullane where he talks about the book and his own personality evolution as a cosmoperson.

Aug 13, 2013

Mullane, unfortunately is a sexist pig and it made this incredibly difficult to read. It's really too bad because I was very interested in the training and flights, but it was so painful I just couldn't complete it. I'm looking for another astronaut book that's written by an actual grown-up.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at WPL

To Top