Moon Shotby Alan Shepard, Deke Slayton, Jay Barbree, Howard Benedict (Contribution by), Neil Armstrong (Introduction)
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, and the space race was born. Desperate to beat the Russians into space, NASA put together a crew of the nation's most daring test pilots:
A revised edition of the New York Times bestselling classic: the epic story of the golden years of American space exploration, told by the men who rode the rockets
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, and the space race was born. Desperate to beat the Russians into space, NASA put together a crew of the nation's most daring test pilots: the seven men who were to lead America to the moon. The first into space was Alan Shepard; the last was Deke Slayton, whose irregular heartbeat kept him grounded until 1975. They spent the 1960s at the forefront of NASA's effort to conquer space, and Moon Shot is their inside account of what many call the twentieth century's greatest feat-landing humans on another world.
Collaborating with NBC's veteran space reporter Jay Barbree, Shepard and Slayton narrate in gripping detail the story of America's space exploration from the time of Shepard's first flight until he and eleven others had walked on the moon.
"Swashbuckling." -The New York Times
"Breathtaking." -Entertainment Weekly
"A must read . . . an insight into the wonders of space flight, yes. But more important, readers come to know Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton, and come to respect their courage and feel genuine affection for these two American heroes." -President George H. W. Bush
"Gripping, authoritative . . . and skillfully told, this is the ultimate inside story of the U.S. space program. " -Walter Cronkite
"From the early Cold War days of the Space Race through the beginnings of the 'thaw,' Moon Shot comes alive." -Senator John H. Glenn
As one of the original seven Mercury astronauts, Alan Shepard (1923-1998) became the first American in space on May 5, 1961, and a decade later took, with his partner Edgar Mitchell, the longest walk-two miles-on the moon before hitting a golf ball for miles and miles across the lunar landscape.
Another Mercury astronaut, Deke Slayton (1924-1993) was meant to be the second American in Earth orbit, but was grounded because of an irregular heartbeat. He stayed on at NASA to supervise his fellow astronauts and was returned to flight status in 1972. In 1975, after sixteen years as head of the astronaut office, Slayton made it into space for the historic first docking of an American and a Russian spacecraft, a step that was a long stride on the road to end the Cold War.
Jay Barbree (b. 1933) is the author of eight books and has been NBC's space correspondent since the birth of NASA. He shared an Emmy Award for NBC's coverage of Apollo 11's first landing on the moon, and is a recipient of NASA's highest medal for Exceptional Public Service.
- Open Road Integrated Media LLC
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- 0.89(w) x 8.50(h) x 5.50(d)
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There are some events in the history of mankind which can never be duplicated. Only one person could be the first to orbit the earth in a spacecraft, or drift outside its confines, or walk on the face of our moon. The 1950s through the 1970s were a special time in the great, epic story of our race. A few dozen men with skill, nerve, and willingness to put their lives on the line to experience the impossible, for themselves and their fellow human beings, stepped up for perhaps the greatest endeavor in earth¿s history. To land a man on the face of the moon and return him safely home. Aided by the sharpest minds in rocket science, aerospace engineering, and computer and communications systems, these men of courage expanded our frontier, some at the expense of their lives. The four hundred pages of this book flew by for me. Beginning with the choice, in the waning days of World War II, of a group of German rocket scientists, led by Wernher von Braun, to surrender to the Americans, which became the genesis of the United States¿ rocket program, the initial printing of this book ended with the Apollo-Soyuz mission (a joining, in 1975, of a U.S. and a Soviet spacecraft while they orbited the earth). Both astronauts involved in the writing, Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton, have passed away since the original printing in 1994. Journalist Jay Barbree wrote an update for the latter version, which I read, which has been rereleased in 2011 for the 50th anniversary of the advent of the space program. His update felt rushed and gave very little specific information about the space program since the last Apollo flight; I would have appreciated a less political stance and one which gave more concrete information. If you are looking for a fast ride through the history of the U.S., and to a very minimal extent, the Soviet, race to the moon, this is a solid place to start. It is also a good book to read if you want to believe that there was very little tension and competition among the astronauts themselves and the various engineers-something that other writings lead me to know is patently untrue. While I can appreciate the desire of the authors to produce an account free from mudslinging, the book does have a ¿nicey-nice¿ ring to it that got a bit too saccharine at times. However, the passion of those involved in the early space programs, the spirit of the unknown that drove them, and their sheer love of what they were doing, comes through clearly in the exciting flow of the narrative. This book made me laugh, cry, and cheer, despite prose that verged on melodramatic at times. Moon Shot focuses on the United States¿ side of the space race, but if you are interested in a balanced account which includes the parallel history of the Soviet side (albeit with much less information from the U.S. viewpoint than Moon Shot), I would like to suggest Two Sides of the Moon: Our Story of the Cold War Space Race. This book was written by U.S. astronaut David Scott-Apollo 15 commander, and Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov-the first man to walk in space, and tells their simultaneous stories from opposing sides of the Iron Curtain. These two men also worked together on joint U.S. and Soviet projects later in their careers. As someone who grew up during the Cold War, I found this collaboration absolutely engrossing, although, like Moon Shot, it is not the most well-written of books.