At 9:32 A.M. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. It carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins to the last frontier of human imagination: the moon.
Rocket Men is the thrilling story of the moon mission, and it 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, Craig Nelson re-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.
Rocket Men is the story of a 20th-century pilgrimage, a voyage into the unknown motivated by politics, faith, science, and wonder that changed the course of history.
©2009 Craig Nelson; (P)2009 Penguin
"Using interviews, NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA material, Nelson has produced a magnificent, very readable account of the steps that led to the success of Apollo 11." (Booklist)
Terrific book and narration. I enjoyed this audio book immensely. I wish there were more audio books in this vein. (Aerospace).
I have read other Apollo/NASA books but this one stands on its own. Really enjoyed the discussion of the "space race" and the engineering feats it took to take the US to the Moon first. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in what it took to get to the Moon.
You know the story, but the people behind it are the crux of this book. It might be overly technical, but I found it particularly enjoyable since I missed the event on television due to a pesky little war going on at the time.
Sat in my car more than a few nights after I pulled up to the driveway just so I could finish the chapter.
Fascinated by WW2 Military History
This book provides a fairly good account of the Apollo 11 moon landing with fairly good main character development (Aldrin, Collins and Armstrong).
I'd say that it can be a bit dry at times and you may find yourself a little bored during some sections, the last few chapters are quite good. If you haven't read Gene Kranz's "Failure Is Not An Option" I would encourage you to begin there as it's a much better telling of the entire NASA program from Mercury to Skylab and into today. I highly recommend it.
Overall, I'd say it's worth a credit.
If you're a space nut this is the book for you. However, even for a space nut like me I only gave it 4 stars. The main reason is the many annoying inaccuracies - like constantly calling the moon a planet! Even with these problems the book does provide a lot of detail about the race to the moon. Probably too much detail for somebody with just a passing interest.
The bright point is the narration. The book itself is a real snoozer; a collection of quotes and numbers that somehow manage to turn an exciting adventure into a dull mush. I stopped listening about an hour before the end.
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