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On the Moon: The Apollo Journals [Paperback]

Grant Heiken , Eric Jones

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Book Description

March 28 2007 0387489398 978-0387489391 2007

This book explains how the Apollo crews learned to work on the lunar surface. Its lively and informative text draws heavily on transcripts and photographs to illustrate points. It puts the reader on the lunar surface with the astronauts, sharing their observations, excitement, and frustrations. The book describes the challenging yet exhilarating lunar environment facing the Apollo astronauts, and reveals their courageous, sometimes creative and occasionally humorous adaptation to the field conditions on another planet. Recent interviews with the astronauts are included in which they recall their thoughts after more than 25 years of reflection.

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From the reviews:

"Jones and Heiken have chosen key parts of the Apollo surface expeditions for this book. … There are introductions to each mission section, explaining why the particular landing site was selected. … This would be a good book to have handy while you’re watching the Spacecraft Films Apollo DVD sets, especially the ones for the final three lunar missions. … overall the book provides a very good introduction to the ALSJ and to a deeper understanding of the crews’ activities on the lunar surface." (Liftoff, Issue 244, March-April, 2008)

About the Author

Grant Heiken worked for NASA during the Apollo and Skylab Programs, in the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, as a geology instructor in the astronaut training program, and conducting independent research on lunar surface processes, including volcanism. He is a co-editor of "Lunar Sourcebook—A User’s Guide to the Moon" (Cambridge University Press). In 1975 he moved to the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (now the Los Alamos National Laboratory) in New Mexico, where he worked in geothermal exploration and development, volcanic hazard analysis, the uses of volcanic rocks, basic research in explosive volcanism, and integrated urban science.

Eric Jones has a lifetime background in space exploration-related science. He visited NASA Johnson in 1988 to examine transcripts of the Apollo missions in an effort to understand what is involved in getting work done on the Moon. Subsequent discussions with Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt led to the idea of creating the "Apollo Lunar Surface Journal" to document the activities of the Apollo lunar surface crews in a manner analogous to the exploration journals of Captain James Cook and others. During 1989-92, he conducted minute-by-minute mission reviews with nine of the twelve moonwalking astronauts so that readers of the could understand, in detail, what was done, how it was done, and how the crews trained before hand. Portions of the Journal first appeared on the World Wide Web in 1995 and, although all of the transcripts and astronaut comments had been added by 1998, photographs, background documents, and additional commentary are still being added in mid-2006. The Journal is hosted by NASA at http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj and is generally considered to be the authoritative source for information about the activities of the lunar surface crews. In Heiken and Jones we have the ideal authors for this project.

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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough reading but full of facts and explanations March 28 2013
By Colin Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The authors of On The Moon: The Apollo Journals had a good idea, take the actual transcripts of the astronauts during their EVA's and intersperse these with explanations taken from interviews to flesh out what was happening at the time.

This book is really an extract from the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal which can be found on the net, taking some of the memorable moments from each landing (it does exclude Apollo 13 as obviously 13 did not actually land on the surface) and conveying those to the reader in the exact words of the astronauts as it happened.

I have watched a lot of the EVA's through DVDs published by spacecraft films and others and it makes a lot more sense seeing what the astronauts are doing whilst listening to what they are saying than just reading it on a printed page. Don't get me wrong, I think the ALSJ is a superb and invaluable resource however it does make for very tough reading.

The actual comments by the astronauts are disjointed as they are trying to do so much in such a little time, plus the time delay between them and mission control doesn't help matters. Added to that there is a lot of "[garbled]" in the text which really breaks up the flow.

The comments from the interviews with the astronauts after the fact, that are interspersed with the actual transcripts are wonderful and really gives you a sense of what they were thinking and better explains what they were trying to do at that particular moment.

If you could combine this book as a reference whilst actually watching the EVA, you get better enjoyment from it but as a straight forward book it is tough going to get through it.

I learned quite a bit from this book but it really is one for die hard Apollo/NASA fans only.
7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good for Kindle March 1 2009
By Alan Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This booked looked very interesting from the Amazon web site and so I sent a sample to my Kindle. Sadly the content looks as though it has been scanned in from the original printed work and doesn't work at all. I had to stop reading after a few paragraphs. I don't believe that quality is worth the price tag for the electronic edition.

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