How Apollo Flew to the Moon

Front Cover
Springer Science & Business Media, Aug 8, 2011 - Science - 555 pages
1 Review
Stung by the pioneering space successes of the Soviet Union - in particular, Gagarin being the first man in space, the United States gathered the best of its engineers and set itself the goal of reaching the Moon within a decade. In an expanding 2nd edition of How Apollo Flew to the Moon, David Woods tells the exciting story of how the resulting Apollo flights were conducted by following a virtual flight to the Moon and its exploration of the surface. From launch to splashdown, he hitches a ride in the incredible spaceships that took men to another world, exploring each step of the journey and detailing the enormous range of disciplines, techniques, and procedures the Apollo crews had to master. While describing the tremendous technological accomplishment involved, he adds the human dimension by calling on the testimony of the people who were there at the time. He provides a wealth of fascinating and accessible material: the role of the powerful Saturn V, the reasoning behind trajectories, the day-to-day concerns of human and spacecraft health between two worlds, the exploration of the lunar surface and the sheer daring involved in traveling to the Moon and the mid-twentieth century. Given the tremendous success of the original edition of How Apollo Flew to the Moon, the second edition will have a new chapter on surface activities, inspired by reader's comment on There will also be additional detail in the existing chapters to incorporate all the feedback from the original edition, and will include larger illustrations.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This was the best space book I have ever read. While there is a huge amount of detail, even non-technical people should be able to understand most of the information without keeping Wiki open all the time. This is not a drama story but rather a wonderful detailed description of what it took to fulfill the moon missions. I am on my second reading and it is better than the first time because I can see more of how things fit together. Thanks David for a wonderful collection and sorting through and eliminating the redundant stuff. 


a brief history
a fiery departure
4 Earth orbit and TLI
5 Retrieving the lander
6 Navigating to the Moon
7 Coasting to the Moon
the LOI manoeuvre
9 Preparations for landing
13 Rendezvous and docking
14 Heading for home
15 Reentry
Computer programs
Mission data
Further reading

the Moon
11 Down in the dust
12 Exploration at its greatest

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

In his spare time, W. David Woods, took up studying the Apollo program and contributing to its documentation on the web. In 1994, he began scanning NASA history books under the aegis of the NASA History Division for presentation on the web. In 1997, David was presented with a Public Service Award in Washington D.C. by the NASA Administrator. In 1998, David began publishing the Apollo Flight Journal online, hosted by NASA. again under the aegis of the NASA History Division. This project is a companion to the highly regarded Apollo Lunar Surface Journal and both are considered canonical references about the Apollo missions. An AFJ consists of a core transcript of a mission. This is carefully corrected, commentary is added and is used as a structure upon which many multimedia types relevant to the mission can be hung. This includes audio, video, and photography from NASA's archives. The knowledge and experience gained while researching and writing for the AFJ led to the publication in 2008 of "How Apollo Flew to the Moon." This book has been very well received and reviewed. Many commentators place it within the top few books about the Apollo flights.

Bibliographic information