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  • Rocket Men

  • The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon
  • By: Robert Kurson
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter, Robert Kurson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (2,546 ratings)

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Rocket Men

By: Robert Kurson
Narrated by: Ray Porter, Robert Kurson
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Publisher's summary

New York Times best seller

The riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind's historic first mission to the moon, from the best-selling author of Shadow Divers.

"Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy." (Andy Weir, number one New York Times best-selling author of The Martian and Artemis)

By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the moon by President Kennedy's end-of-decade deadline and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the moon - in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas.

In a year of historic violence and discord - the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago - the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America's greatness under pressure. In this gripping insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who'd dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight.

Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America's finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved and the singular bravery it took for mankind to leave Earth for the first time - and arrive at a new world.

"Rocket Men is a riveting introduction to the [Apollo 8] flight.... Kurson details the mission in crisp, suspenseful scenes.... [A] gripping book." (The New York Times Book Review)

©2018 Robert Kurson (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“Kurson’s first-rate account of this remarkable spaceflight starts by reminding us what a gamble it was, a revelatory wake-up nudge for anyone who thinks moon flights were routine....There are many pieces to the Apollo 8 story, but Kurson brings them together effortlessly.” (USA Today)

Rocket Men is close-to-the-bone adventure-telling on a par with Alfred Lansing’s Endurance and Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. It’s as close to a movie as writing gets.” (Mary Roach, The Washington Post)