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Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon Hardcover – May 28 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (May 28 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670011568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670011568
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 1.6 x 29.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 907 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #402,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A beautiful, insightful, and highly readable presentation of the Apollo missions. Booklist, starred review

They effectively highlight the Apollo program's magnificent achievements, as well as its moments of tension and tragedy. Supplemented with an admixture of photos and labeled diagrams, the large-scale art adds a dazzling visual element to this grand commemoration. School Library Journal, starred review

This unique portrait of the Apollo voyages is a remarkable combination of intimate details of the space flights, historical and scientific details about the missions, and paintings by one of the astronauts. The extended introduction presents the mindset of America after Sputnik that set the stage for America’s space program. Students will delight in details such as toilet procedures, meals, and clothing for moon walking. VOYA, starred review

About the Author

Andrew Chaikin is the author of the acclaimed A Man on the Moon and several other books about space. He is a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition and had appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Chaikin and Bean Fantastic Team June 17 2009
By Marianne Dyson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Andrew Chaikin and Alan Bean are a powerful team for introducing the Apollo program to a new generation. Few authors can compete with Andrew Chaikin when it comes to telling the stories of Apollo, and Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean is the only artist who can paint the Moon with the passion of personal experience.

The Bean artwork and captions are sufficient to "promote" this book to coffee-table status, and the expertly-crafted text is also consistent with a book that any adult could happily browse and digest while waiting for an appointment in a swanky office.

My entire review is posted on the National Space Society ( Web site, but the bottom line is: Chaikin and Bean have created something that is more like a cherished family album or an artist's portfolio than a children's book. Space enthusiasts of all ages would do well to add this one to their personal collections.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This is the "real" story of the Apollo Missions, one that will WOW you from the first page to the last! June 18 2009
By D. Fowler - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Russians and the Americans were like two brothers, always trying to outdo the other and come in first. At times, in their race to space, the Russians would pull ahead, only to have the Americans hot on their heels. On April 12, 1961 "Americans once again felt the sting of being second best" when Yuri Gagarin orbited the earth via his spaceship, Vostok. Projects Mercury and Gemini set the stage for the success of Project Apollo, but there were lists of things that had to be accomplished and the real race was on.

Gus Grissom, one of three astronauts slated to be on the "first manned Apollo flight," Apollo One, was becoming more and more frustrated with the "communication problems" the project was having. "How are we going to get to the moon if we can't talk between two buildings?" He had a point there. This ill-fated mission never got off the ground when a disastrous fire on the launchpad took the lives of the crew in a horrifying manner. The next five missions were unpiloted and everyone was cautious. Even the Russians lost Vladimir Komarov. Were we really ready to tempt fate and head to the moon?

The race was now on in earnest. This book covers each manned Apollo mission in a vibrant, thrilling manner touching on history while including the viewpoints as many people involved in the project as possible. The emotional cast of the book ranges from heartbreak to humor to ecstasy. In the front of the book there is an illustration and overview of the Apollo spacecraft. Early on there is a two-page spread on both the Mercury and Gemini Missions outlining the crew, the duration of the flight and their achievements.

This book is absolutely marvelous! The stunning full color art work by former Apollo 12 lunar module pilot, Alan Bean, will blow you away. The writing quickly draws the reader in. Even the most reluctant reader will make it to the end. Dozens of people were interviewed for this book, including Apollo astronauts, flight directors, controllers and many other people who played a part in the Apollo Project. There are numerous photographs, fantastic sidebars, an index and additional recommended book and web site resources. This is one book you definitely won't be able to resist buying!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Mission Control The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon Aug. 21 2010
By Sara Howard - Published on
This book is very interesting as is all of the Apollo books. Andrew Chalkin is an excellent author. This is the nail-biting account of the trouble with communications between Houston and the Command Modules with every mission. When Apollo 8 launched, it was a good time to test out communications. Communications were eventually sorted out and we have the triumph of Apollo 11. There is some wonderful information here.

Alan Bean is a wonderful artist and his paintings are featured in this book. I already own his leather and gold bound book.

I know more than the usual reader. I am a very rare woman aerospace engineer on the Saturn V. I worked on the first stage, the S-IC.
I know people. :) I recently sent out a query to any Apollo Astronaut. "How was the ride on my beloved Saturn V?"
The answer came back from Alan Bean. "TERRIFYING!" Tee Hee
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Mission Control, this is Apollo Dec 19 2009
By Margaret A. Turnbull - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. It is extremely well done, a bit different from the usual - it covers all Apollo flights from One to Seventeen. It is set out beautifully and the illustrations are superb. My grandson is going to be thrilled with this for Christmas.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
fantastic for young and old Feb. 26 2010
By V. McMullen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is perfectly laid out for enjoyment and understanding. A nice quick overview of each of the manned Apollo missions. It includes original paintings by astronaut Al Bean (the fourth man on the moon).

Very good book for space race buffs and those who don't yet appreciate the magnificent accomplishments and heroic men of this era of U.S. history.