We Came in Peace for All Mankind: The Untold Story of the Apollo 11 Silicon Disc

Overview

Nearly four decades ago Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left some mementos on the ancient lunar soil of the Sea of Tranquility. Among these was a small brittle silicon disc with microscopic messages of goodwill from 73 world leaders. In 1969, with only weeks left before the Apollo 11 liftoff, NASA worked feverishly on a crash project to miniaturize messages from American and world leaders to enshrine them on a material suited for the harsh environment of the Moon. This book reveals a never-before-told story of the...
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Overview

Nearly four decades ago Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left some mementos on the ancient lunar soil of the Sea of Tranquility. Among these was a small brittle silicon disc with microscopic messages of goodwill from 73 world leaders. In 1969, with only weeks left before the Apollo 11 liftoff, NASA worked feverishly on a crash project to miniaturize messages from American and world leaders to enshrine them on a material suited for the harsh environment of the Moon. This book reveals a never-before-told story of the disc, along with many rare and astounding photographs.
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Editorial Reviews

Hopewell publications Editors of best new writing 2008
In the summer of 1969, partly as a race against the Soviets but mostly as a promise to an assassinated President (JFK), the U.S. space program reached the culmination of an amazing journey by landing on the moon. Soon after that first boot print in dusty the lunar surface, a world-famous US flag was erected in the Sea of Tranquility, along with a lunar plaque and a tiny silicon disc. Rahman, in his beautiful coffee table book, tells the story of that disc and the glad tidings of the entire planet that accompanies it. It makes you long for the days of universal harmony.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585974412
  • Publisher: Leathers Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/28/2007
  • Pages: 293
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Tahir Rahman is a passionate enthusiast of space exploration and history. He discovered the existence of the silicon disc messages while collecting space memorabilia. His research yielded very little information about the message disc- so he decided to write about it. His journey took him to John Sprague, son of the founder of Sprague Electric in Massachusetts and co-inventor of the disc.

Rahman eventually met both Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first men to walk on the surface of the Moon on July 20, 1969. The astronauts were intrigued by his discovery of the detailed calligraphy and beauty that the disc revealed under a microscope- a lost part of history for 40 years.
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2009

    It was perfect. Immediately caught my attention.

    The pictures were beautiful. The entries from the nations were fascinating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2008

    A true Treasure Hunt

    Kudos to the author, Tahir Rahman who has done a marvelous job of compiling this fantastic book.This book is a treasure to anybody who is even remotely curious about space and space history. To all those who haven't read anything about space ever this is where you begin... in Man's first grand achievement in Space. It is an authentic rendition of our adventure in space. I wasn't even born when man first stepped on the moon, but i lived out the experience of all those who were on earth then while reading the pages. The interviews, photographs and the sheer beauty of the book is something i'll cherish and will be proud to own. The content of the book, beginning from the origin of the thought to create this silicon disc to its actual placement of it on the soils of the moon runs like a movie. The messages from all the world leaders who wished the astronauts on their brave journey is a pleasure to read. The photographs of each and every actual letter written with the signatures of the world leaders makes it a very valuble book to own and cherish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2008

    A snapshot of our world in 1969.

    I enjoyed this book as, instead of being too narrowly focused (as a story about one little object might sound at first), it tells the story of this tiny disc as just one symbolic element of the first mission to the lunar surface. Not just for the committed space-geek, this book does a good job of conveying some of the wonder of the first lunar landing mission, both in words and in beautiful full-page images. As a snapshot of the world of 1969, it is fascinating. The disc, intended as a symbolic gesture, turns out to tell many more stories than its original intention, and in many ways summarize the whole venture. As the book describes the rush to add last-minute messages to the disc, hurriedly collecting messages from world leaders, so we come to understand the tensions between science, engineering, PR and politics that were taking place in the busy runup to launch. Some arguments, such as whether to include religious wording to symbolic statements, sound very familiar to some current political debates. The political reasonings behind some of the messages, and also why some nations declined involvement, give an interesting insight into late-1960s global politics. It's very interesting to read all of the messages themselves as a reflection of the times. Some of the blandest statements come from the major powers on the world stage, with smaller countries such as Liberia, Guyana, the Ivory Coast, Trinidad and Tobago providing some of the most thought-provoking words as they decide how to claim their own little intellectual corner of the mission. The messages come from countries which in many cases no longer exist or have been renamed, from leaders long gone, long deposed and in many cases long discredited. Very few, such as Queen Elizabeth, are still around. Without any commentary, the end of the book is nevertheless perhaps the most powerful part. Giving a brief biography of each of the leaders whose words appear on the disc, in many cases we are treated to a rogue's gallery of dictators, coup winners, corrupt tyrants and those who went on to murky and inglorious ends. A good portion of the leaders are people who, today, we may view as the last names we'd want representing humankind in a message to the future. While aiming for a high purpose, the disc therefore also inadvertently summarizes what a messy and imperfect world we lived in in 1969. Perhaps, in doing so, it gives extra luster to the Apollo 11 mission itself, which managed to reach above its Cold War origins and achieve something for all humankind. A very interesting work, presented in beautiful form.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2007

    A reviewer

    I work with Dr. Rahman and he graciously gave me a copy of his book. I was wonderfully surprised how human and personal the book was and delighted in the mesmerizing illustrations. I am not a space enthusiast in any way, but I will re-read this book and recommend it to everyone I know. Shar

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2007

    A Very Informative and interesting book for everyone.

    I am very impressed with Tahir Rahman's book about Apollo 11 Silicon Disc. It is a very informative book with excellent illustrations which everyone will enjoy. It is quite obvious to the reader that the author has great passion for the untold story of Apollo 11.

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