Apollo: the epic journey to the moon
For centuries men had dreamed of reaching Earth's pale companion in the night sky, but it was not until a novelist dramatized the possibilities of a new era that a way to reach upward became more than fantasy. Inspiration drove a generation of rocket theorists and experimenters to design new instruments and build in their minds the way to the stars. A world war seized the power of these new instruments and filled them with strength. In the aftermath two superpowers engaged in a duel over the world's imagination, and their arena became the realm beyond the clouds. Their weapons became the instruments of the visionaries. And their ultimate contest would drive both powers in an unprecedented race to set foot on the sky. The Apollo missions were undertaken as a political gamble, but it would embark mankind upon an odyssey of the spirit.
David West Reynolds provides the reader with an engaging reconstruction of all the key events and personalities behind the Apollo saga. No less important, the narrative avoids being ensnared by the arcane nomenclature and acronyms associated with NASA. Reynolds innovates new terminology, finding ways to make the complex systems of Apollo easy to understand: the Lunar module's DPS descent propulsion system becomes the "landing engine"; the Extravehicular Mobility Unit and its Integrated Thermal and Micrometeoroid Garment become, simply, the Apollo Moon suit and its white cover layer, with the design and function of the suit carefully described in layman's terms. Reynolds recasts he complex details of lunar geological history into four great ages, and such clarifications appear throughout the book. Apollo has never been so accessible. Throughout, the goal is to enhance our technical understanding without any loss of subtlety or distortion of science. Reynolds is both a storyteller and interpreter.
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Apollo: the epic journey to the moonUser Review - Book Verdict
Among the many books written on the history of the Apollo program, this one, by classical archaeologist Reynolds, stands out. The author of six previous books, including Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary, Reynolds looks back on the history of Apollo from the perspective of the 21st century. NASA, despite its success, was not the flawless government agency many believed it to be, and the lunar astronauts themselves were not simply one-dimensional heroes but complex human beings with failings. Nevertheless, America won the race to the moon, and this book re-creates the drama the whole world experienced over 30 years ago. The well-written text is accompanied by numerous photos and drawings much more so than most other works on Apollo history. The author's explanations of complex technological matters are easy to understand, and readers will appreciate the small details he recounts, such as how astronauts repaired a fender on the lunar rover with duct tape. Recommended for all libraries. Jeffrey Beall, Univ. of Colorado Lib., Denver ...