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Publisher's Summary

A richly detailed and dramatic account of one of the greatest achievements of humankind.

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • L
  • Centennial, CO, United States
  • 10-03-11

Unforgettable Characters

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • Syracuse, UT, United States
  • 09-19-10

Reading my childhood memories

A great look back at my childhood memories. Full of facts and stories that were never told at the time. An interesting read for anyone that lived though the time of apollo and a must read for those who want to know what it was like.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ross
  • Randolph, NJ, USA
  • 09-30-09

Great for Space Nuts

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.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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PaulM

i thought it started off a bit slow but picked up pace and became so very interesting. The recount of the Apollo 11 mission brought me back in time and I felt the excitement and nail biting moments experienced by the people who actually lived it. This makes me optimistic and excited about putting humans on Mars by 2029.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow, just wow

Every politician from local government to the president should be required to read this book. Forget politics, wars, or feelings.... this book truly shows our nation when we had a common goal and just how powerful we can be when we actually have something to strive for.

While I’ve always enjoyed space, this book can be read by anyone and they can appreciate the events and message it’s trying to present.

It both plants seeds of dreams and is hauntingly depressing because it reveals how little our country cares for space and everything that it has given to us that we take for granted.

I will reread multiple times....

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not good. I want my money back. please let me exch

the reader is not good. he can't even pronounce Gemini. trained off right away. please give me my money back!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great hiztprical read

I loved this book but was saddened by the outcome of the space program heros

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Fantastic book for many reasons.

I am a huge space nut. This book is by far my favorite Apollo centric book yet. It is full of information from all facets of people involved. I learned more from this book then ANY other I have read. Well formatted, researched, written and read. This is a must have for anybody with an interest in space, Apollo, late 19th century America and our future. Excellent Book on all levels.

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Great read

If you loved the space program this is a must read. From the early days of space to Apollo 11 the story is fascinating.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beyond Awesome. Didn't want it to end.

Sat in my car more than a few nights after I pulled up to the driveway just so I could finish the chapter.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful