Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon


NASA's Apollo answered President Kennedy's 1961 directive to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth by the end of the decade. The astronauts, scientists, and mission control operators who took part in the fifteen manned Apollo missions not only accomplished this memorable triumph of courage and technical ingenuity, they stirred the world's imagination and redefined the notion of what is truly possible.

In this captivating story of adventure and exploration, expert...

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NASA's Apollo answered President Kennedy's 1961 directive to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth by the end of the decade. The astronauts, scientists, and mission control operators who took part in the fifteen manned Apollo missions not only accomplished this memorable triumph of courage and technical ingenuity, they stirred the world's imagination and redefined the notion of what is truly possible.

In this captivating story of adventure and exploration, expert David West Reynolds presents a complete and engaging reconstruction of all the key events and personalities in the Apollo program. From the thrilling experiences of the astronauts to the men of extraordinary vision and skill who built a reality out of a dream, Reynolds captures the drama of this epic journey.

Rendering complex and technical material into accessible terms for the uninitiated reader, while providing unusual details for the aficionado, Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon takes you along on the most unforgettable ride of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In covering the entire span from the dawn of the Space Age through the Apollo missions, David West Reynolds has done an excellent job of bringing a remarkable period of human exploration to life. He has put the early dreams into context and provided a valuable sense of closure by reflecting upon Apollo's legacy. Altogether a wonderful account."—David M. Harland, author of Exploring the Moon: The Apollo Expeditions and Jupiter Odyssey

Library Journal
Among the many books written on the history of the Apollo program, this one, by classical archaeologist Reynolds, stands out. The author of six previous books, including Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary, Reynolds looks back on the history of Apollo from the perspective of the 21st century. NASA, despite its success, was not the flawless government agency many believed it to be, and the lunar astronauts themselves were not simply one-dimensional heroes but complex human beings with failings. Nevertheless, America won the race to the moon, and this book re-creates the drama the whole world experienced over 30 years ago. The well-written text is accompanied by numerous photos and drawings much more so than most other works on Apollo history. The author's explanations of complex technological matters are easy to understand, and readers will appreciate the small details he recounts, such as how astronauts repaired a fender on the lunar rover with duct tape. Recommended for all libraries. Jeffrey Beall, Univ. of Colorado Lib., Denver Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Space expert Reynolds reconstructs all the key events and personalities connected to the Apollo space missions, from the experiences of the astronauts to the scientists and mission control operators who helped convert this extraordinary dream into reality. His text is accompanied by 400-plus color photographs, artwork showing the lunar explorations, and cutaway illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780151009640
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 10.42 (w) x 9.88 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

David West Reynolds is the author of six books, including #1 New York Times bestseller Star Wars: Episode I, The Visual Dictionary. He holds a doctorate in classical archaeology from the University of Michigan. An expert in space exploration, Reynolds is directing a project with a group of lunar and astrophysical scientists to recover image data from a little-known 1973 Soviet moon landing. He lives in Marin County, California.

Wally Schirra, one of the Original Seven astronauts, is the only astronaut to have flown on all three NASA programs-Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. He lives in San Diego, California.

Von Hardesty is a historian and curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. He is the editor of the Cambridge Centennial of Flight book series. He lives in Grottoes, Virginia.

Gene Cernan, a Gemini and Apollo astronaut, was the last man to set foot on the Moon. He lives in Houston, Texas.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Dawn of the Space Age
Chapter 2: Aiming for the Moon
Chapter 3: Landing on the Moon
Chapter 4: Moon Explorers
Chapter 5: Beyond Apollo

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2007

    Cook's Tour of the Apollo program

    This is a very detailed overview of the Apollo program with many diagrams and photos to explain the technical aspects of the voyages to the moon. Separate chapters on each Apollo voyage with details of the missions and maps of the landing areas with several 4 page foldout diagrams, such as the Saturn 5 cut away and an Apollo 17 4-page photo panorama. While not as detailed with anecdotes as some text books on individual missions, this book is an excellent overview of the program with many photos and diagrams and should be part of anyone's collection on the subject. I have a friend who was a mission controller on Apollo who uses this book to explain details when he makes public presentations on Apollo. I enjoyed chapters on the Moon Space Suit and the Lunar Rover. Composite wide-view photos '2 pages wide' taken on the moon are digitally merged together for the first time in this book. Forward written by Wally Schirra, the only astronaut to fly on Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2002

    An outstanding achievement -- THE book on the subject.

    When I first picked up David West Reynolds¿ APOLLO: The Epic Journey To The Moon, the first thing I did was turn to the index to seek out ¿Disney, Walt¿ and ¿von Braun, Wernher,¿ two names that greatly influenced my childhood (had ¿Rogers, Roy¿ been a space cowboy, I¿d¿ve looked him up too). Déjà vu: I was instantly taken back to the past looking toward the future with a 10-year-old¿s wide-eyed awe and wonderment. That¿s what this amazing book instills in the reader: that same sort of wonder and expectation, as if the Apollo missions were about to lift off tomorrow, yet providing a jolt to the memory that causes you to gasp, ¿Omigod, I remember that!¿ Reynolds writes about the first of three ¿sci-fi¿ segments of ABC-TV¿s Disneyland that aired on March 9, 1955: ¿Man In Space explained the challenges that would face humans traveling into space and detailed von Braun¿s concepts for a reusable space shuttle, dramatizing one of its missions and ending with a spectacular night landing¿It was watched by an audience of 100 million. [It] was so popular and so provocative¿that President Eisenhower [till then, a doubting Thomas] called Disney to order a copy for review by his staff and the Pentagon. It felt to many like a new age was just around the corner.¿ Man And The Moon, which was televised the following year, was ¿a preview of what would become the real Apollo 8¿portrayed realistically with actors and included a mysterious sighting of unexplained lights on the surface of the Moon, strangely prefiguring events that would occur during the Apollo missions.¿ At 36, Dr. Reynolds, who has published scholarly articles on archaeology and ancient exploration, also authored the New York Times #1 bestseller Star Wars: Episode 1, The Visual Dictionary, among other books. However, he is truly at the top of his space game here. This is fascinating stuff, and Reynolds writes in a clear, concise, and entertaining style that makes even technophobes like yours truly easily comprehend one of the most spectacular ¿ and complex -- scientific and historical achievements of the last century. With a ¿you are there¿ Foreword by Apollo 7¿s Mission Commander Wally Schirra, and the cooperation of NASA and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the reader can be assured of the accuracy of the detailed facts and figures Reynolds presents. Richly illustrated with some rare and never-before-seen photos, it also includes many new rocket cutaways, and custom-keyed maps and panoramas that put you more lucidly in the lunar landscape. Photographed for the first time is the famous memo to LBJ in which JFK asks, ¿Do we have a chance of beating the Soviets by putting a laboratory in space, or by a trip around the moon, or by a rocket to land on the moon, or by a rocket to go to the moon and back with a man?¿ (Amusing to think that nowadays, American multimillionaires like 60-year-old money manager Dennis Tito and 23-year-old Lance Bass of the boy band N¿Sync so casually shell out $20 million apiece to the Russians for the privilege of becoming Soyuz cosmonauts.) However, this merely scratches the surface of the moon, for Reynolds pilots us to an ethereal kind of Tomorrowland in his Jules Vernesque conclusion: ¿We will one day surpass the achievement of Apollo. In reaching beyond it, we will at last fulfill its promise, a promise that lies waiting today, waiting for anyone to look up at the glow of the night sky, a promise recorded in the footprints on the Moon.¿ It is the profoundly inspiring Afterword by Gene Cernan, Mission Commander of Apollo 17, which brilliantly encapsulates Reynolds¿ comprehensive tome. ¿One cannot behold all the lands and seas of the Earth in a single glance and remain unchanged by the experience,¿ says Cernan. ¿Returning to Earth from the Moon poses the challenge of finding a perspective within yourself that can encompass what has happened to you, that can accommodate the matters of ordinary life as

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2002

    Well, a good collectors item, but...

    This book is what I call a good collectors item. This book gives some light of the Apollo program to those who do not know much about it, however, anyone who studies the Apollo program in a more serious light may find this book disappointing. Still, this book gives a good presentation of the Apollo program, and the author did a fair amount of research. Therefore, I rate this book at three stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2002

    Out of this world - What a ride

    What I didn't know about the Apollo program and the race for the moon could fill a book, and this is the book. Fortunately, Reynolds seems to have had the uninitiated, as well as the informed, reader in mind when he crafted this detailed and beautifully layed out exploration of one of the most exciting periods and events in U.S. history. I recommend this book to anybody who has ever wondered what it must was like to live during the heady days when the dream of putting a man on the moon was not a foregone conclusion. I also recommend this book to those who want to relive those moments in all their glory, and sometimes disappointment. This book will delight and inform readers of all ages from the informative background on the origins of rocketry in science and science fiction, through the race for the moon, and finally to the unrealized goals of sending astronauts to Mars. Even those with extensive familiarity with the subject should find much to delight and entertain. A tour de force from start to finish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2002

    Journey; Myth or Foe

    Sorry, but I found the book to be very boring. I have read many other books based on the Apollo missions and they have all seemed to have been very detailed. This one however was very dull.

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