Mullane, R. Mike 1945- (Mike Mullane)
Mullane, R. Mike 1945- (Mike Mullane)
Born September 10, 1945, in Wichita Falls, TX; son of Hugh J. and Marjorie Mullane; married Donna Sei (a professional speaker), June 14, 1967; children: Patrick, Amy, Laura. Education: U.S. Military Academy, West Point, B.S., 1967; Air Force Institute of Technology, M.S., 1975; graduated from Air Force Flight Test Engineer School, Edwards Air Force Base, CA.
Home and office—Albuquerque, NM. E-mail—[email protected]
U.S. Air Force, career officer, 1968-90, retired as colonel; served in Vietnam as a weapons system operator aboard a Phantom aircraft; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), astronaut, 1978-90. Producer of the videotape The Ten Thousand Night Dream; USA Network, host of the series Inside Space; professional speaker, 1990—.
Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, NASA Space Flight Medal, inducted into International Space Hall of Fame.
Red Sky: A Novel of Love, Space, and War, Northwest Publishing (Salt Lake City, UT), 1993.
Liftoff! An Astronaut's Dream (juvenile), Silver Burdett Press (Parsippany, NJ), 1995.
Do Your Ears Pop in Space? And 500 Surprising Questions about Space Travel (juvenile), Wiley (New York, NY), 1997.
(As Mike Mullane) Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut (memoir), Scribner (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including USA Today.
R. Mike Mullane was a career officer with the U.S. Air Force and an astronaut who flew three space shuttle missions before his retirement. Mullane is also a writer of both fiction and nonfiction works. His first book, Red Sky: A Novel of Love, Space, and War, is a story that takes place at the end of the Cold War and includes a Soviet plot intended to destroy America. The main characters are five astronauts and their wives, who equally endure the risks faced by their hero husbands. Newgate Callendar commented in the New York Times Book Review that "one thing comes strongly, fervently through Red Sky: astronauts are made for flight; once in space, they approach godliness."
Liftoff! An Astronaut's Dream and Do Your Ears Pop in Space? And 500 Surprising Questions about Space Travel are both juvenile titles. In the latter Mullane relates his personal experiences as he provides information about space physics, astronaut training, and life on the shuttle.
Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut is Mullane's memoir of his years with the space program. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that he takes the reader into the world of space "with a testosterone-fueled swagger and a keen eye for particulars." Coming from service in the Vietnam conflict, he found himself, in 1978, in a very different environment. He writes of the process whereby astronauts are chosen and trained, pays tribute to the astronauts who were lost and to their families, and acknowledges the stress experienced by his own wife over the forty years he served. Mullane's first flight was in 1984 aboard the Discovery. He describes the unpleasant living conditions, but also the incredible beauty of space. Mullane at first felt that female astronauts were not on a par with males, but then writes positively about Sally Ride, the first American woman in outer space, and Judy Resnick, who died in the Challenger disaster in 1986, both of whom were in his graduating class. "Mullane's … achingly tragic recollections of crewmates who perished in the Columbia tragedy raise this book above the ranks of the standard-issue boys-in-space memoir," concluded a Kirkus Reviews contributor.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Mullane, Mike, Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut, Scribner (New York, NY), 2006.
Booklist, February 1, 2006, Roland Green, review of Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut, p. 14.
Entertainment Weekly, February 10, 2006, Eric Kohn, review of Riding Rockets, p. 140.
Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2005, review of Riding Rockets, p. 1268.
New York Times Book Review, June 27, 1993, Newgate Callendar, review of Red Sky: A Novel of Love, Space, and War; March 19, 2006, Tom Ferrell, review of Riding Rockets.
Publishers Weekly, November 28, 2005, review of Riding Rockets, p. 36.
Sky & Telescope, November, 1997, Stuart J. Goldman, review of Do Your Ears Pop in Space? And 500 Surprising Questions about Space Travel, p. 74.
Writer, November, 2006, interview with Mullane, p. 66.
Mike Mullane Home Page,http://www.mikemullane.com (December 30, 2006).