Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon

Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon

by Robert Kurson


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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 prepare—a fraction of the normal time—the agency would send the first men in history to the Moon. In a year of historic violence and discord—the Tet offensive, the assassinations of MLK and RFK, the Chicago DNC riots—the 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 time—and to arrive at a new world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812988703
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 275,987
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.


Chicago, Illinois

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois


B.A. in Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1986; J.D., Harvard Law School, 1990

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Chapter One

Excerpted from "Rocket Men"
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Copyright © 2018 Robert Kurson.
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Table of Contents

Prologue: Countdown 3

Chapter 1 Do You Want To Go To The Moon? 5

Chapter 2 The Space Race 13

Chapter 3 A Secret Plan 29

Chapter 4 Are You Out Of Your Mind? 39

Chapter 5 Frank Borman 53

Chapter 6 Just Four Months 69

Chapter 7 Jim Lovell 84

Chapter 8 Pushed To Superhuman Speeds 99

Chapter 9 Bill Anders 108

Chapter 10 How's Fifty-Fifty? 126

Chapter 11 My God, We Are Really Doing This 136

Chapter 12 Leaving Home 151

Chapter 13 A Deeply Troubled Year 169

Chapter 14 A Critical Test 183

Chapter 15 An Astronaut In Trouble 196

Chapter 16 Equigravisphere 205

Chapter 17 Racing the Moon 220

Chapter 18 Our Most Ancient Companion 228

Chapter 19 Earthrise 233

Chapter 20 The Heaven and the Earth 250

Chapter 21 Aiming for Home 264

Chapter 22 Please Be Informed-There is a Santa Claus 273

Chapter 23 Help From an Old Friend 287

Chapter 24 The Men Who Saved 1968 299

Epilogue 314

Acknowledgments 337

Diagram of Apollo 8 342

Author's Note 345

A Note On Sources 351

Index 357

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