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Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin

The Lives and Careers of the First Men on the Moon
Narrated by: Scott Clem
Length: 3 hrs and 27 mins

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Publisher's Summary

“I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks, but for the ledger of our daily work.” (Neil Armstrong)

“Some things just can't be described. And stepping onto the moon was one of them.” (Buzz Aldrin)

At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969, time stood still throughout the world, as thousands converged at the Kennedy Space Center and millions tuned in on live television. At that instant, the first rumbles began to shake the ground, as a small spacecraft attached to the giant Saturn V rocket, several hundred feet tall, started lifting off. Quickly being propelled several thousand miles per hour, it takes just a few minutes to reach a speed of 15,000 miles per hour, and just a few more minutes to enter orbit at 18,000 miles per hour. Apollo 11 was on its way to a historic first landing on the Moon.

Apollo 11’s trip to the Moon may have started on that day in 1969, but the journey had begun over a decade earlier as part of the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union. In fact, President Eisenhower’s administration began the design for the Apollo program in 1960 in hopes of getting a head start to the Moon, despite the fact the plans originated a year before the first Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, orbited the Earth and two years before John Glenn did.

Over the decade, NASA would spend tens of billions on the Apollo missions, the most expensive peacetime program in American history to that point, and even though Apollo 11 was only one of almost 20 Apollo missions, it was certainly the crown jewel, among all the missions conducted by NASA. 

When the Apollo program reached its pinnacle, the man at the center of it was Neil Armstrong, a farm boy and pilot who rose from a hardworking rural home to become the first to set foot on the Moon and utter one of the 20th century’s most famous phrases: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” After reaching the peak of his fame and career at the young age of 40, Armstrong spent the second half of his life as he had the first, working hard and serving his country. In doing so, he serves as one of the best examples of national pride and service that America has ever known.

Alongside him was Buzz Aldrin, which was somewhat fitting given his family’s past. His father was a military test pilot, and Aldrin would follow a similar path on his way to becoming a member of the Gemini program and ultimately the Apollo 11 mission. Despite reaching the peak of his fame and career before the age of 40, Aldrin has continued to work in the field and has been one of the most effective advocates of further space travel, particularly to Mars.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin: The Lives and Careers of the First Men on the Moon profiles both astronauts and the most memorable space mission in history. 

©2019 Charles River Editors (P)2019 Charles River Editors

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  • Douglas
  • 07-17-19

Mediocre

I feel like I just listened to a Wikipedia page, with no added context from the author.

The narrators voice is also a struggle to listen to.

overall I am glad to have listened to it but that was more down to the topic itself.