A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts

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Viking, 1994 - History - 670 pages
14 Reviews
On the night of July 20, 1969, our world changed forever: two Americans, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, walked on the moon. After the horror of the Kennedy and King assassinations, amid the deepening quagmire of Vietnam, the moon landing brought the sixties to a triumphant end. But the upheavals of that decade have somehow eclipsed this "one giant leap" and the even bolder explorations that followed. Now Andrew Chaikin tells the story of the Apollo missions as never before: through the eyes of the astronauts who made those heroic voyages.
A decade in the making, A Man on the Moon is based on hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews with each of the twenty-four moon voyagers, as well as those who contributed unprecendented brain power, training, and teamwork on earth. With breathtaking immediacy, Chaikin conveys every aspect of the Apollo missions, from the rush of liftoff atop a Saturn V rocket to the heart-stopping touchdown on the moon, to the final hurdle of reentry. He tells of the intense competition for a seat on a moon flight, and of the resurrection of Alan Shepard, at age forty-seven, from grounded pilot to moon voyager. We see the Apollo missions unfold from their tragic beginning - the spacecraft fire that killed three astronauts - to their spectacular conclusion high on the slopes of lunar mountains, where the astronauts searched for clues to the origin of the solar system.
Here are the stories of a unique handful of men who have been to the farthest edge of human experience. For the first time, we learn what the men inside the space suits truly felt. Through them we can look back and understand the achievement that began on that almost mythic July night when, as Chaikin writes in his preface, "we touched the face of another world and became a people without limits."

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User Review  - renbedell - LibraryThing

A great in-depth look at the Apollo program and the many adventurous and talented astronauts. I like that the book is not just a history overview of the events, but also goes into detail about the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Omnigeek - LibraryThing

Chaikin's seminal work on the Apollo program was the basis for Tom Hanks' "From the Earth to the Moon" but it's so much more. Smoothly written, the book gives us insights that Hanks wasn't able to fit ... Read full review


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About the author (1994)

Andrew Chaikin was born in 1956. At the age of nine, he became interested in outerspace and the moon when Ed White walked in space on Gemini 4. While studying geology at Brown University, Chaikin worked as an intern at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Upon graduation, he began his writing career, and eventually became an editor at Sky and Telescope magazine in the Boston area. Chaikin has written numerous articles for magazines, including Science Digest, Popular Science, and World Book. Coauthor of the book The New Solar System, the bible for planetary scientists and space artists, Chaikin's biggest accomplishment as a writer is his book A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts. Chaikin spent eight years researching and writing the book, which chronicles the adventures of the astronauts who participated in the Apollo missions. The classic book became the basis for the HBO 12-hour miniseries, "From the Earth to the Moon," which was produced by Apollo 13 actor Tom Hanks. Chaikin served as a consultant on the miniseries, and even had a small cameo in one of the episodes. Chaikin, also a skilled artist, enjoys playing the guitar.

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