- € 16,99
Fifty years ago, Christmas 1968, Man first orbited the Moon. This book tells the inside story of that epic journey.
In early 1968, the Apollo programme was on shaky footing. President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline to put a man on the Moon was in jeopardy, and the Soviets were threatening to pull ahead in the space race.
By August 1968, with its back against the wall, NASA decided to scrap its usual methodical approach and shoot for the heavens. With just four months to prepare, the agency would send the first men in history to the Moon.
Focusing on three heroic astronauts and their families, this vivid, gripping narrative shows anew the epic danger and singular bravery it took for Man to leave Earth for the first time — and to arrive at a new world.
With the 50th anniversary of the trailblazing Apollo 8 mission approaching in December 2018, Kurson (Pirate Hunters) affably reminds readers of the days when America's dreams and goals lay far beyond Earth's surface. Kurson sets the stage swiftly: President Kennedy had promised in 1961 that U.S. astronauts would land on the moon, but as the decade drew to a close, the Soviet Union remained the unquestionable leader of the space race. After the CIA reported that cosmonauts planned a lunar flyby late in 1968, NASA altered Apollo 8's mission. Instead of orbiting the Earth, astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders would fly to the moon, orbit, and return. This was an especially challenging journey, because the August announcement meant that NASA's astronauts and engineers had only four months to prepare. Kurson effectively recreates the era, recalling the tumult of a changing nation, as well as the tension felt by those involved both on Earth and in space, of a mission with little margin for error. Kurson writes in clear, simple language, avoiding technical matters and cryptic NASA jargon to focus on the people involved. Fans of explorers and adventurers will enjoy Kurson's vibrant, accessible history.