- Tapa blanda: 336 páginas
- Editor: Three Rivers Pr; Edición: Reprint (1 de junio de 2010)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 030746346X
- ISBN-13: 978-0307463463
- Valoración media de los clientes: 1 opinión de cliente
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº520.181 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 1 jun 2010
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Forty years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second human, minutes after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on a celestial body other than the Earth. The event remains one of mankinds greatest achievements and was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history. In the years since, millions more have had their Earth-centric perspective unalterably changed by the iconic photograph of Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon, the blackness of space behind him and his fellow explorer and the Eagle reflected in his visor. Describing the alien world he was walking upon, he uttered the words magnificent desolation. And as the astronauts later sat in the Eagle, waiting to begin their journey back home, knowing that they were doomed unless every system and part on board worked flawlessly, it was Aldrin who responded to Mission Controls clearance to take off with the quip, Roger. Understand. Were number one on the runway.
The flight of Apollo 11 made Aldrin one of the most famous persons on our planet, yet few people know the rest of this true American heros story. InMagnificent Desolation, Aldrin not only gives us a harrowing first-person account of the lunar landing that came within seconds of failure and the ultimate insiders view of life as one of the superstars of Americas space program, he also opens up with remarkable candor about his more personal trialsand eventual triumphsback on Earth. From the glory of being part of the mission that fulfilled President Kennedys challenge to reach the moon before the decade was out, Aldrin returned home to an Air Force career stripped of purpose or direction, other than as a public relations tool that NASA put to relentless use in a seemingly nonstop world tour. The twin demons of depression and alcoholism emergedthe first of which Aldrin confronted early and publicly, and the second of which he met with denial until it nearly killed him. He burned through two marriages, his Air Force career came to an inglorious end, and he found himself selling cars for a living when he wasnt drunkenly wrecking them. Redemption came when he finally embraced sobriety, gained the love of a woman, Lois, who would become the great joy of his life, and dedicated himself to being a tireless advocate for the future of space explorationnot only as a scientific endeavor but also as a thriving commercial enterprise.
These days Buzz Aldrin is enjoying life with an enthusiasm that reminds us how far it is possible for a person to travel, literally and figuratively. As an adventure story, a searing memoir of self-destruction and self-renewal, and as a visionary rallying cry to once again set our course for Mars and beyond, Magnificent Desolation is the thoroughly human story of a genuine hero.
From the Hardcover edition.
Biografía del autor
On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts BUZZ ALDRIN and Neil Armstrong landed their lunar module on the Sea of Tranquillity and became the first humans to walk on the moon. Aldrin has since been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and more than fifty other awards and medals from the United States and other countries. He holds a doctorate in astronautics from MIT. Since retiring from the U.S. Air Force and NASA, Dr. Aldrin has remained at the forefront of efforts to ensure a continued leading role for America in manned space exploration. He founded a rocket design company, Starcraft Boosters, Inc., and the ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to opening the doors to space tourism for all people. Buzz and his wife, Lois, live in Los Angeles.
KEN ABRAHAM is a New York Times bestselling author, known around the world for his collaborations with celebrities and high-profile public figures.
From the Hardcover edition.
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There is ambivalence in the very title "Magnificent Desolation," as it is not clear whether the phrase refers to outer space or Aldrin's inner space. Aside from a splendid narrative of his role in Apollo XI that opens the book, this is a work about the astronaut's adventures and misadventures post 1969, of which he had plenty of both. Little could he know, in 1973, that his first autobiography was not the final word, but simply a milepost along a hard road to health and wholeness.
Aldrin was an alcoholic, most likely before Apollo XI and certainly afterward, but the astronaut corps of the time was a hard drinking fraternity in which excess of that sort was scarcely visible. Moreover, his outstanding R&D efforts involving extravehicular dexterity on his Gemini XII flight with Lovell in 1966 made him respected, if not loved, within NASA, and his personal issues never seemed to have crossed the Apollo XI radar, except to the degree that NASA's inner circle did give considerable thought to his working relationships; the unflappable Armstrong proved to be the best fit for the overachieving, self-confident, and somewhat arrogant Aldrin. However, the challenge of post-Apollo life worried Aldrin and in the midst of the world-wide media frenzy after the moon flight , the famous `first man on the moon" stamp--bearing Neil Armstrong's image alone--was unveiled, reopening a long festering wound and sparking new excuses for self indulgence.
But beyond alcohol and hurt feelings, Aldrin simply did not know what to do with himself. He envied Armstrong's contentment with pure engineering and his gradual withdrawal to academic life. He became vaguely aware that his problems might be emotional in nature, even raising the issue of astronaut psychology obliquely to a conference of aerospace doctors. Most readers will recognize his symptoms as depressed mood; the difficulty then was incredulity among his friends and caregivers--including Aldrin himself--that a celebrated moonwalker could be so afflicted. Between depression and alcoholism, he embarked upon a series of impulsive, indulgent, and ill-advised decisions, including divorcing his wife and serving as something of an absentee landlord at Edwards Air Force Base, where he headed the test pilots' school. Sensing deterioration, in 1973, four years after Apollo XI, Aldrin decided to write his tell-all book about his depression and marital difficulties, though without mention of his drinking.
Aldrin's drinking continued unabated for the next half-dozen years. His self-report of the drinking years in this work is sadly similar to that of millions of alcoholics, except that as a member of the Apollo XI crew his trouble was fairly public knowledge. A period of sobriety led to a made-for-TV movie, after which the astronaut returned to drinking. At one point, a mere five years after Apollo XI, he was reduced to selling cars--and failed at that.
Many astronauts were profoundly and deeply affected by their Apollo moon excursions, not just Aldrin. Jim Irwin's post-flight quixotic search for Noah's Ark is one of the best known of a series of remarkable transformations. For Aldrin, depression and substance abuse--the latter finally brought under control in October, 1978--were in some respects the tip of the iceberg of his restless difficulties. For a man of high intelligence and technological brilliance, Aldrin was also highly imaginative and carried an entrepreneur's gene or two in his DNA. Perhaps of all the astronauts he best realized the unthinkable technical achievement of the Apollo Program, and grieved its eventual demise--less over his own future opportunities than for what we might call the humanitarian/scientific opportunities of the human species.
Aldrin reveals himself as a "big picture" sort of guy. He discloses this about himself almost unwittingly, from his narrative of the projects, visions, and ideas he has expounded to about anyone who would listen, down to the present day. He designed, for example, a concept he called "the cycler," a means of using permanent orbiting space vehicles as "shuttlers" between the earth and the moon, and eventually Mars. But the Martian cycler best illustrates Aldrin's frustration: NASA's Tom Paine told him in 1984 that taxpayers would not fund such ventures, and as Aldrin himself ruefully admits, he began to earn a reputation as a guy with "harebrained ideas." 
Gradually Aldrin came down to earth, figuratively speaking, through the 1980's, indebted in no small part to the energy and affection of his second wife, and gradual improvement in the treatment of his chronic depression. Although ever the wide-eyed enthusiast, he seemed to come to peace with a recreated persona as general spokesman for the exploration of space. He kept himself in the public eye, appearing on multiple television programs and interviews, including "The Simpsons." His lifestyle appeared to some as self-aggrandizement, but in my view his behavior spoke more of "don't forget me and my profession." At the end of the day, the reader is more likely to conclude that Aldrin, considering his inner demons, warts, and a uniquely perplexing place in the history books, is no defiant space cowboy, but rather, a complex man who struggled in black-and-white worlds.