Apollo: the epic journey to the moon

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Harcourt, May 20, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
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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 moon

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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 ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

David West Reynolds is the author of six books, including #1 New York Times bestseller Star Wars: Episode I, The Visual Dictionary. He holds a doctorate in classical archaeology from the University of Michigan. An expert in space exploration, Reynolds is directing a project with a group of lunar and astrophysical scientists to recover image data from a little-known 1973 Soviet moon landing. He lives in Marin County, California.

Wally Schirra, one of the Original Seven astronauts, is the only astronaut to have flown on all three NASA programs-Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. He lives in San Diego, California.

Von Hardesty is a historian and curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. He is the editor of the Cambridge Centennial of Flight book series. He lives in Grottoes, Virginia.

Gene Cernan, a Gemini and Apollo astronaut, was the last man to set foot on the Moon. He lives in Houston, Texas.