This book focuses primarily on the trials and tribulations of the Apollo 11 crew before, during and after the epic landing on the moon. Author Craig Nelson also delves into the space race that led to this historic event along with what happened to NASA in the aftermath. I have to admit that it took me a while to get into it, but once I got through the first 50 pages it started to roll.
The book is rich is first person descriptions of thoughts about the events from individuals at all levels of the program and the companies that participated in the building and assembling of the equipment. In reading about the events, I am amazed that the program actually was able to achieve its goal within the timeframe established by President Kennedy.
The reader is given great insight in to the stoic professor Neil Armstrong, the brilliant and insecure Buzz Aldrin and the calm professionalism of Michael Collins. These three formed a crew that worked well together despite their individual personal quirks to achieve a mission of lasting importance. The fact that people still believe that the whole thing was faked is just mind boggling (at least for me).
One of the facts that particularly stuck with me was the fact that when the astronauts exited the capsule at recovery that the divers were repelled by the smell coming out of it (read the book for more graphic descriptions).
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of the space race, the Apollo program, and the first moon landing.
- Buzz Aldrin recalls the trials and triumphs of the moon landing and his career as an astronaut (kansas.com)
- Moon Landing Fast Facts (cnn.com)
- In Praise of Michael Collins (steppingoutwithanagoraphobic.wordpress.com)