The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude to those who helped in the research and compilation of this book, which relates a number of complex and very personal stories. Such an undertaking would have been extremely difficult—if not impossible—without their support and assistance.
Our foremost thanks must go to the spacefarers, both Russian and American, who willingly gave their time and help. All have been interviewed hundreds of times over the decades, and yet, despite often demanding schedules, many took the time to invite us into their homes and confidences and gave fresh, insightful perspectives into their lives, characters, and experiences. They also provided us with introductions to others we had hoped to interview.
For answering all of our questions so helpfully and thoroughly, our thanks go to: Buzz Aldrin, Valery Bykovksy, Mike Collins, Konstantin Feoktistov, Valeri Kubasov, Alexei Leonov, Jim Lovell, Pam Melroy, Ed Mitchell, Pavel Popovich, Jack Schmitt, Valentina Tereshkova, Al Worden, and Alexei Yeliseyev. Dick Gordon also graciously allowed us to use fully an earlier interview we had conducted with him.
Going above and beyond the call of duty, Bill and Valerie Anders, Scott Carpenter, Gene Cernan, Walt and Dot Cunningham, Charlie Duke, Wally and Jo Schirra, Rusty Schweickart, and Tom Stafford not only provided extensive interviews but also proofread drafts and offered expert suggestions and amendments. In many instances, this process uncovered stories they had long forgotten, which appear here in print for the first time. Our special thanks also to Suzi Cooper and her husband, the late Gordon Cooper. Gordo was most generous with interview time and in responding to questions. Sadly, Gordo passed away soon after being sent some final manuscript drafts of this book, which he’d agreed to proofread.
Those who stay behind on the ground are often just as vital as those who get to fly into space. Key interviews and valuable editorial suggestions were