The inside, lesser-known story of NASA's boldest and riskiest mission: Apollo 8, mankind's first journey to the Moon on Christmas in 1968. A riveting account of three heroic astronauts who took one of the most dangerous space flights ever, from the New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers.
In early 1968, the Apollo program was on shaky footing. President Kennedy's end-of-decade deadline to put a man on the Moon was in jeopardy, and the Soviets were threatening to pull ahead in the space race. By August 1968, with its back against the wall, NASA decided to scrap its usual methodical approach and shoot for the heavens. With just four months to preparea fraction of the normal timethe agency would send the first men in history to the Moon. In a year of historic violence and discordthe Tet offensive, the assassinations of MLK and RFK, the Chicago DNC riotsthe Apollo 8 mission was the boldest test of what America could do. With a focus on astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders, and their wives and children, this is a vivid, gripping, you-are-there narrative that shows anew the epic danger involved, and the singular bravery it took, for man to leave Earth for the first timeand to arrive at a new world.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
ROBERT KURSON earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, then a law degree from Harvard Law School. His award-winning stories have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, and Esquire, where he is a contributing editor. He is the author of Shadow Divers, a New York Times bestseller; Crashing Through, based on Kurson's 2006 National Magazine Award-winning profile in Esquire; and Pirate Hunters, also a New York Times bestseller. He lives in Chicago.
Place of Birth:Chicago, Illinois
Education:B.A. in Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1986; J.D., Harvard Law School, 1990
Read an Excerpt
Excerpted from "Rocket Men"
Copyright © 2018 Robert Kurson.
Excerpted by permission of Diversified Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Countdown 3
Chapter 1 Do You Want To Go To The Moon? 7
Chapter 2 The Space Race 19
Chapter 3 A Secret Plan 43
Chapter 4 Are You Out Of Your Mind? 58
Chapter 5 Frank Borman 80
Chapter 6 Just Four Months 104
Chapter 7 Jim Lovell 127
Chapter 8 Pushed To Superhuman Speeds 151
Chapter 9 Bill Anders 165
Chapter 10 How's Fifty-Fifty? 192
Chapter 11 My God, We Are Really Doing This 207
Chapter 12 Leaving Home 229
Chapter 13 A Deeply Troubled Year 257
Chapter 14 A Critical Test 278
Chapter 15 An Astronaut In Trouble 298
Chapter 16 Equigravisphere 312
Chapter 17 Racing The Moon 335
Chapter 18 Our Most Ancient Companion 348
Chapter 19 Earthrise 355
Chapter 20 The Heaven And The Earth 381
Chapter 21 Aiming For Home 402
Chapter 22 Please Be Informed-There Is A Santa Claus 416
Chapter 23 Help From An Old Friend 437
Chapter 24 The Men Who Saved 1968 455
Diagram of Apollo 8 520
Author's Note 523
A Note on Sources 531
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In August 1868, NASA, intent on getting ahead of Russia in the space race and hoping to overcome demoralizing rocket failures, made the dramatic decision to push to send men to orbit the moon in December--giving them way less preparation time than usual. Engineers, astronauts, and everyone at NASA worked together to get astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders prepared for whatever would come on their unprecedented mission. This narrative nonfiction is superb. Robert Kurson does a great job taking readers into 1968--to see the unrest in the United States, with protests of the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., and more. It was really interesting to see how this mission brought people together and brought a good ending to an otherwise rough year. It was also really interesting to see the different personalities of the three astronauts as well as their wives and families. It's jammed with interesting information--mind-blowing numbers (like the weight of the rocket!), the realities of space life (like what happens when one crew member gets diarrhea!), and what Walter Cronkite announced on TV during their orbit. It really takes the reader back in time, and it's an engaging and informative read. Really fantastic piece of nonfiction. I read a copy of the book via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Kurson Does it Again! Rocket Men is an exciting story of an adventure that almost didn't happen. We live in a world that looks at historical events as though they were inevitable and Kurson writes such a compelling text that you are able to feel the anxiety and intensity of the moment back in 1968. U.S. astronauts were true heroes who helped Americans to come together in triumph at a time when the country was being pulled apart by tragedy and Robert Kurson is able to capture the details of this story. Kurson is a best-selling writer for a reason - he is writes in way that makes every book captivating regardless of the topic. Rocket Men is no different -- this book is an important reminder of public service and dedication, of love and sacrifice, and it is written with such care for all the details that the reader feels they actually know the astronauts and their families. This is a great read, don't miss it!
I’ve been fascinated by space since studying the solar system in second grade. If there’s an astronaut book out there, I’ve read it. This is a great addition. Apollos 11 and 13 are famous as the first moon landing and the successful failure of a moon landing. Apollo 8 is less well-known, but, in the words of the late Neil Armstrong, was “an enormously bold decision.” The American space program was in trouble. A crew had perished in a spacecraft fire on the pad in 1967. And not only the space program, but all of America was convulsing with anti-war fervor, racial unrest, and assassinations in 1968. A circumlunar flight was dangerous, but it would keep the space program moving forward toward the goal of landing men on the moon before the end of the decade, and maybe even beat the Soviets. The flight of Apollo 8 was a resounding success. And 1968 ended on a bright, shining note.
Robert Kurson has written another brilliant novel full of his characteristic attention to personal and technical detail which he somehow always manages to imbue with wonder and excitement. Truly great read!
I thought I was well read on US space program history ... until I read Rocket Men
A great book for all to learn about a fantastic human voyage.