- Paperback: 720 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (Aug. 28 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014311235X
- ISBN-13: 978-0143112358
- Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 3.8 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 522 g
- Average Customer Review: 79 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #76,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts Paperback – Aug 28 2007
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A decade in the making, this book is based on hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews with each of the twenty-four moon voyagers, as well as those who contributed their brain power, training and teamwork on Earth. In his preface Chaikin writes, "We touched the face of another world and became a people without limits."
What follows are thrilling accounts of such remarkable experiences as the rush of a liftoff, the heart-stopping touchdown on the moon, the final hurdle of re-entry, competition for a seat on a moon flight, the tragic spacecraft fire, and the search for clues to the origin of the solar system on the slopes of lunar mountains."I've been there. Chaikin took me back."--Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 astronaut --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Scheduled to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969, this chronicle offers a comprehensive, often penetrating look at NASA's Apollo program. Originating in 1961, when President John Kennedy told Congress that the U.S. should attempt to land a man on the moon "before this decade is out," the program's last mission ended in December, 1972, with the splashdown of Apollo 17. Diary-like reports mix with first- and third-person accounts as Chaikin, an editor at Sky & Telescope magazine, delivers a chronological view of the missions and those who planned and flew them. Focusing closely on the Apollo astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin, Pete Conrad and Neil Armstrong, Chaikin gives his topic a sense of immediacy. But his treatment, lengthy as it is, reads more like an extended magazine article. Missing is a view of Apollo in a wider context, one that captures the mythos of our efforts to land on the moon. 40,000 first printing.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Chaikin launches the book with the story of the tragic fire that claimed the lives of three astronauts - the first three austronauts to die either in preparation for or during a mission for NASA. The loss of Grissom, White, and Chaffee would pave the way to significant improvements in the Apollo program and probably helped to save the crew of Apollo 13 a few years later.
The book races through the thrills of the Apollo 11 mission and the first humans to set foot on another world - Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, as they landed on the moon. Chaikin captures the tribulations of the Apollo 13 mission where Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise were nearly the first space casualties and the heroic efforts of the NASA staff to return them safely to Earth. He continues through the remaining Apollo missions, concluding with Apollo 17, the final moon landing.
Chaikin has taken terrific interviews and conversations with the astronauts and other members of the Apollo program into account when writin this book. The book covers every topic from the exhiliration of launch to the post-recovery doldrums experienced by some of the astronauts. He explains how space flight changed some of the men, and merely enhanced traits seen in others.
This book is a tremendous piece of literature that belong in every space afficinado's library, and any historian of space travel must read this to understand how the Apollo missions paved the way for the Space Shuttle program and any upcoming manned missions that humans may have planned for the Moon, Mars, or beyond. I highly recommend this book to anyone with any interest in the history of space travel. It is easy to read, and very enjoyable.
After enjoying hours of reading Chaikin's text and viewing the wonderful photographs compliled to complement it, I would have to agree that this will remain the definitive history of the Apollo program. It certainly would mean most to those who were old enough to witness the first landing on the Moon, as I was.
On July 20, 1969, I was in the lobby of the Seaview Hotel in Ocean City, New Jersey with other guests watching the most momentous event of the 20th century unfold. Our eyes were riveted to a television set and we were watching Neil Armstrong leave the lunar module and work his way down the ladder to the surface of the Moon. No one could say a word; we could only watch in wonder as Armstrong placed his boot on the lunar surface and spoke those immortal words.
This three volume set was published 1999 by Time-Life on the 30th anniversary of that first lunar landing. Chaikin's original book was published five years before; the entire text is included and the Time-Life editors compiled hundreds of the best photos from their own vast collection as well as those from NASA and other sources to complement the text. The result was too big for one or even two volumes, so it was published in three volumes and slipcased. What a treasure this set is!
After an appropriate introduction covering the Mercury and Gemini programs that were necessary stepping stones to reaching the Moon, the books cover each Apollo mission, including the diastrous Apollo 1 pad fire. Each manned mission to the Moon is covered--from Apollo 8 to Apollo 17--in engaging text and memorable photographs. However, much of what was done on Earth in preparation for reaching the Moon is also covered, the training as well as the engineering, written in an understandable style.
This multi-volume set is out of print but can be found through online auctions and used booksellers for a very reasonable price. When you find it, buy two sets--one for yourself and one for a friend would can appreciate it as much as you. We probably will never see another opportunity to go to the Moon in our lifetime. This multi-volume set is the best published record that we actually went there and is a wonderful tribute to the countless dedicated men and women who worked to make it happen.
Chaikin is the only person to interview all 12 moonwalkers and get their personal feelings about everything from astronaut & crew selection, training, peer relations and best of all; orbiting and walking the moon. This is not a technical or scientific history, but an account of how the astronauts FELT about their entire Apollo experiences. You can easily "walk in their shoes" and "see through their eyes" with this book.
He writes in a way all persons can understand, and simplifies the engineering and scientific aspects so you can understand what the astronauts were dealing with. Not only does he avoid getting bogged down in techical speak, but actually makes the technical parts fascinating to learn!
If you want a good summary of Project Apollo, I'd recommend three books:
"To A Rocky Moon: A Geologist's History of Lunar Exploration" - by Don Wilhems. This is the science side of the story, and quite fascinating!
"Full Moon" by Michael Light. A beautiful coffee table book with pictures that take your mind to the moon. With this you can almost see what the astronauts did!
And lastly, and most important of all, this book. . ."A Man on the Moon." It will almost make you feel like you were the fourth crewman.
The three together will give you the best sense of what happened at that fascinating time in history!
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