Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module

Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module

4.8 9
by Thomas J. Kelly
     
 

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Chief engineer Thomas J. Kelly gives a firsthand account of designing, building, testing, and flying the Apollo lunar module. It was, he writes, “an aerospace engineer’s dream job of the century.” Kelly’s account begins with the imaginative process of sketching solutions to a host of technical challenges with an emphasis on safety, reliability,

Overview

Chief engineer Thomas J. Kelly gives a firsthand account of designing, building, testing, and flying the Apollo lunar module. It was, he writes, “an aerospace engineer’s dream job of the century.” Kelly’s account begins with the imaginative process of sketching solutions to a host of technical challenges with an emphasis on safety, reliability, and maintainability. He catalogs numerous test failures, including propulsion-system leaks, ascent-engine instability, stress corrosion of the aluminum alloy parts, and battery problems, as well as their fixes under the ever-present constraints of budget and schedule. He also recaptures the exhilaration of hearing Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong report that “The Eagle has landed,” and the pride of having inadvertently provided a vital “lifeboat” for the crew of the disabled Apollo 13.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A highly personalized story . . . of the Apollo Lunar Module, built at Grumman by the author and his team.”—Choice

“It’s surprising that the man most responsible for the spindly Apollo lunar landers, Tom Kelly, hasn’t told his story years before. Lucid and engaging, he tells how his team at Grumman in Bethpage, Long Island, went from paper studies to delivering hardware that would help change history. Beyond historical interest, the book has lessons for anyone involved in a large project at the cutting edge of technology.”—IEEE Spectrum

 “. . . Written in an approachable style, and if you have even a passing interest in space exploration it will grip your interest. It constitutes an important primary source for the history of human exploration . . . This book is a flat-out good read.”—Meteoritics and Planetary Science

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781588343611
Publisher:
Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date:
01/11/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
325,288
File size:
4 MB

Read an Excerpt

“It was the first space launch [Apollo 5] we had seen firsthand, and it did not disappoint in spectacle and beauty. First we beheld the brilliant orange flame of the Saturn 1B, then the agonizing wait until the hold-down clamps were released and the rocket began its slow climb upward alongside the launch tower finally clearing it. Then came the heavy, deep-throated roar of the mighty engines, simultaneously pressing down from the sky and upward, like an earthquake, from below the ground. Set majestically against the rose, purple, and deep blue of the dusky sky, the blazing torch of the rocket lit up the approaching night for miles around. It was a thrilling sight but also reminded me of the inherent risk of our whole enterprise. So much raw power unleashed in such a short time!”—from Chapter 13


From the Hardcover edition.

Meet the Author

The recipient of a Grumman Engineering Scholarship upon graduating from high school, Thomas J. Kelly worked for the company for more than forty years, retiring in 1992. Now an aerospace and computer consultant, he lives in Cutchogue, New York.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tom Kelly's story about the development of the Lunar Module is a great study of how these things got done during Project Apollo. I knew I wanted to read this book after the episode about Tom Kelly that was part of 'From The Earth to the Moon'. There is a great deal of detail here. You may learn enough about the cryogenic tanks to go build one yourself. In the beginning of the book is a list of acronyms. Unfortunately, you will need to refer to this list from time to time. Also, the book doesn't keep to a strictly chronological order which results in some repeated information. I'm recommending this book to my fellow space-nuts who like this kind of detail but not to those who might get turned off by a discussion of the type of metal used inside an electrical wire.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tom Kelly's 'Moon Lander' provides the reader with very good insight into a portion of the Apollo lunar program. As Project Engineer for Grumman, he oversaw their effort to build the LM. Being a Grumman employee, one would expect a certain amount of chest thumping over Grumman's achievement. Surprisingly, Kelly is remarkably fair in his treatment of both Grumman and NASA. When necessary, he takes Grumman to task for mistakes (some his) made during the program.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is full of details that any Apollo buff would crave. Being an engineer, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This book gets into the details of the making of the lander. It is this level of detail that separates it from the rest of the books already written on the subject.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This an't a skylander rp anymore! Whooop!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh wee -_-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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