T-Minus

Andre Dziurzynski book by: Jim Ottaviani

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“The Astronaut John Glenn”

Colonel John Glenn was one of the seven volunteers to become an astronaut in 1960. He and his colleagues went through grueling training to fly a spacecraft because they would be famous and they are brave people. Ultimately he was chosen to be the first American to fly in space. On February 20, 1961 he was the first American to orbit earth three times in a rocket named Mercury-Atlas 6. He was brave, courageous, well trained both physically and mentally. He was a very good leader and a good person, and became a favorite spokesmen for the astronauts. “I have no problem reaching for knobs and have adjusted to zero-g very easily ... much easier than I really thought it would.” (page 54.) This quote proves that Glenn was very well physically trained.

“Sputnik vs Rockets”

“What do you think, Mr. President?

“Bah. It’s just one small ball in the air.”

“deet deet deet deet deet deet deet deet deet deet”

“Politicians are saying they can’t believe it--, took ‘em by surprise.”

“That’s crazy.”

“The Russians published the frequency in amateur radio magazines...

...so kids could tune into Sputnik’s signal.” (pg. 9-10)


This connects to the time period because Russia launched Sputnik up in space and America was having a war with Russia by launching rockets up in space. Russia won by launching Sputnik up first, but America won by putting men on the moon first.

My Time Line

1. Launch of Atlas 43D in 1960: Did a full orbit of the earth and came back down safely.

2. Launch of Atlas 90D in 1961: Did a full orbit of the earth and came back down safely and that was the last flight of the D-series Atlas.

3. Launch of Atlas 123D in 1962: Did a full orbit of the earth and came back down safely.

4. Launch of Atlas 39D in 1963: Did a full orbit of the earth but it was a failure coming back home because it blew up, up in space while they were coming home to earth.

5. Launch of Atlas-Agena B LV-3 in 1964: It was a high earth orbit going up to 22,236 miles up in space, and it was a success, and the function was a Lunar impact probe.

6. Launch of Atlas-Centaur-D SLV-3C in 1969: they traveled through planets, it was a success and the function of this was a Mars flyby probe.

“The Race”

Have you ever thought about the race to the moon with US and Russia in the 1960s? T-Minus is a great book and it’s by Jim Ottaviani who I have never heard of but the book was phenomenal. The setting is switching between US and Russia. The reason why it is switching between US and Russia is that Russia launched a rocket into space and they are happy. Then America launches a rocket into space and they are happy. It goes on, and on, and on about both countries launching rockets into space until America launched one mission to the moon. There are many key characters in T-Minus but the most important people are CC (CC is his nickname) who is making all the designs for the rockets, capsules, etc... There is also Yuri Gagarin who was the first person to go up into space, and he was from Russia and that’s what started the whole race. The most important people are three men going up in space heading toward the moon, Apollo 11. Those three men are Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. Throughout the story US has to go through a lot of bumps and twists because they are fighting against Russia and it is a matter of time before one of those countries launches a rocket up to the moon first. T-Minus is probably society vs. society. Probably the most important person in T-Minus is either CC or Neil Armstrong. CC is pretty important because he has to design all the capsules and different types of rockets and without him they would probably not go to the moon. Neil Armstrong is really important because he is the one who takes risks and and was the one to step on the moon first. I think the most exciting part of the book is the the climax because it is when Apollo 11 is up in space and Neil Armstrong takes the first step on the moon. Everyone was so excited for him because he was the first person to step on the moon ever. The resolution of the book is when Apollo 11 comes back with his space-mates and the whole race to the moon is over and everyone is friendly and nice to each other.

“Two Men and One Machine”

In T-Minus the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957. Cool Fact: The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball the weighed was only 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. The reason Sputnik was launched was that the Soviet Union ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While Sputnik was launched and up in space it was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S. vs. the U.S.S.R in a space race.

“Two Men and One Machine”

Yuri Gagarin was the most important person for the Soviet Union in T-Minus. On April 12 it was a huge day in space history for Yuri Gagarin and for the Soviet’s. Four years after the launch of Sputnik on April 12, 1961, Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space, making an orbital flight in his Vostok 1 spacecraft.

“Two Men and One Machine”

The last three important people at the end of T-Minus was in a spacecraft headed toward the moon. On July 20, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped off the “The Eagle,” and became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon. Nearly 240,000 miles from Earth, Neil Armstrong spoke these words to more than a billion people listening at home and everyone still remembers them: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

First Moon Landing 1969