Two Sides of the Moon: Our Story of the Cold War Space Race

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Macmillan, Dec 3, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 432 pages

Growing up on either side of the Iron Curtain, David Scott and Alexei Leonov experienced very different childhoods but shared the same dream to fly.

Excelling in every area of mental and physical agility, Scott and Leonov became elite fighter pilots and were chosen by their countries' burgeoning space programs to take part in the greatest technological race ever-to land a man on the moon.

In this unique dual autobiography, astronaut Scott and cosmonaut Leonov recount their exceptional lives and careers spent on the cutting edge of science and space exploration. With each mission fraught with perilous risks, and each space program touched by tragedy, these parallel tales of adventure and heroism read like a modern-day thriller. Cutting fast between their differing recollections, this book reveals, in a very personal way, the drama of one of the most ambitious contests ever embarked on by man, set against the conflict that once held the world in suspense: the clash between Russian communism and Western democracy.

Before training to be the USSR's first man on the moon, Leonov became the first man to walk in space. It was a feat that won him a place in history but almost cost him his life. A year later, in 1966, Gemini 8, with David Scott and Neil Armstrong aboard, tumbled out of control across space. Surviving against dramatic odds-a split-second decision by pilot Armstrong saved their lives-they both went on to fly their own lunar missions: Armstrong to command Apollo 11 and become the first man to walk on the moon, and Scott to perform an EVA during the Apollo 9 mission and command the most complex expedition in the history of exploration, Apollo 15. Spending three days on the moon, Scott became the seventh man to walk on its breathtaking surface.

Marking a new age of USA/USSR cooperation, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project brought Scott and Leonov together, finally ending the Cold War silence and building a friendship that would last for decades.

Their courage, passion for exploration, and determination to push themselves to the limit emerge in these memoirs not only through their triumphs but also through their perseverance in times of extraordinary difficulty and danger.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ABVR - LibraryThing

A solid dual history of the space race with interwoven Russian and American narratives. Leonov's perspective is more interesting because it's less familiar . . . Scott, though he comes off as a single ... Read full review

Two sides of the moon

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Soviet cosmonaut Leonov (the first man to walk in space) and American astronaut Scott together relate two sides of the Cold War battle to reach the moon. Read full review

Contents

Prologue
CHAPTER
Red Star White Star
A Fair Solar Wind
Death of a Visionary
CHAPTER
CHAPTER
In the Footsteps of Captain Cook CHAPTER
Cowboy from Siberia CHAPTER
Acknowledgments
Glossary
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

David Scottis one of the twelve men to have walked on the Moon. He flew three space missions: first as pilot of Gemini 8 in 1966, then as command module pilot on Apollo 9 in 1969, and finally as commander of Apollo 15 in 1971.

Alexei Leonov was among the first group of cosmonauts selected in 1960 and flew two space missions: first as pilot of Voskhod 2 in 1965 and then in 1975 as commander of Soyuz 19 during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.

Christine Toomey, cowriter, is an award-winning journalist with the Sunday Times (London).

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