Rocket Men

Rocket Men

The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon

Book - 2009
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Author Craig Nelson restores the mystery and majesty to an event that may have become too familiar for most people to realize what a stunning achievement it represented in planning, technology, and execution. Through interviews, 23,000 pages of NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents on the space race, Nelson creates a vivid and detailed account of the Apollo 11 mission. From the quotidian to the scientific to the magical, readers are taken right into the cockpit with Aldrin and Armstrong and behind the scenes at Mission Control.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2009
ISBN: 9780670021031
Characteristics: xii, 404 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

Restoring the drama, majesty, and sheer improbability of an American triumph, this is award-winning historian Craig Nelson's definitive and thrilling story of man's first trip to the moon. At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectat... Read More »

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Mar 28, 2020

This book is informative for those who are trying to research the past history of space exploration.

Oct 25, 2019

While the book is interesting, it has a large number of errors: as a sample, the Super Guppy is not a jet, at one point he says speed was 1,900-something miles per SECOND (Maximum speed was more like 7 miles/second, 25,000 mph), and the first description of Max Q was fuzzy and inaccurate.
The author also has a problem with subject-verb agreement, and keeps switching between English and Metric units.
The book is saved from being a total flop by the author's obvious enthusiasm for his subject, and there are some interesting anecdotes; I did learn at least one thing I hadn't known before, but the glaring mistakes keep me from recommending this book.

Aug 19, 2018

I'm not sure what technical errors are referred to by another commenter but I found this book to be an excellent read. It is a bit dry but it's the dryness of history instead of being a fiction book about the event. Several passages include quotes from different people associated with the space program and I find that adds much to the writing. I can remember watching the moon landing on July 20th, I was eight at the time and didn't understand the enormity of the event. Going back and reading about it brings that day to mind and the significance of the event. If you are interested in space or space history then this book is for you. I'm giving it 5 stars not because I think it is the most technically correct remembering of the event, but for invoking the feeling of the time. The discussion of the events joined with quotes from the people present, Gene Kranz, Deke Slayton, etc. gave me a great perspective of the amazing thing that happened one hot July day in 1969.

Apr 24, 2018

This book is really dry. Arid. It's like a daily account of the astro's lives. Very different and plainly not very interesting.. Not that it's like boring, I mean a test pilot going Mach 5 in a prototype plane is pretty crazy. It relates to a personal diary.. Would not recommend.

May 02, 2014

This book is shot through with technical errors. It's obvious that the author has no science background. The scope, though, is very large, and contains rich background that I have not come across in other books on the space program. Yet, considering the errors that I (and others) can spot, one has to wonder whether other aspects of the book are as egregiously filled with mistatements, incorrect quotes and faulty background. Too bad.


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