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Arrows to the Moon: Avro's Engineers and the Space Race (Apogee Books Space Series) Paperback – 1 Nov 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Apogee Books; 1st Edition edition (1 Nov. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1896522831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1896522838
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.7 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,358,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


On 20 February 1959 the Canadian government shut down the CF-105 Avro Arrow jet interceptor programme, putting the cream of Canada's aerospace engineering talent out of work. Many of the Avro engineers had just arrived in Canada from Great Britain. A brand new organisation called the Nationl Aeronautics and Space Administration was charged with putting US astronauts into space, and in 1959 it desperately needed engineering talent. Within 10 weeks of the demise of the Arrow, 25 Avro engineers were working for NASA, and another seven joined them later. Other Avro engineers found work with the aerospace contractors that built spacecraft and boosters or NASA. A little more than 10 years later, US astronauts were standing on the surface of the Moon in the climax of one of the greatest stories of technology and exploration in human history. This book tells for the first time the story of the Canadian and British engineers from Avro Canada who played key roles in putting Americans on the Moon and in building today's US space programme, including the space shuttle and the International Space Station.

Also included are other Canadian contributions to Apollo and a chapter on the Canadian space programme. This is the final chapter in one of the most compelling stories in Canada's history. How the demise of Canada's national dream contributes to one of the greatest triumphs in American history.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Lubes on 28 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic read. Had to be us in UK, Canadians and Germans put man on the moon.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Canadian Engineers Assist America in Reaching The Moon 22 Nov. 2001
By Ken R. Harman - Published on
Format: Paperback
Most people know that German rocket engineers led by Wernher von Braun helped build the rocket that put Apollo astronauts on the Moon. But few have heard about the Canadian and British engineers who also made a big contribution to the success of Apollo. Now their story is told for the first time in "Arrows to the Moon." This excellent book starts off with the story of how Canada scrapped the Avro Arrow, the most advanced jet interceptor of its time, and how NASA scooped up 32 of Avro's top engineers. This book follows their work in the U.S. space program from the early Mercury flights right through to the International Space Station. It includes stories about Jim Chamberlin and his design work on the Gemini spacecraft, John Hodge's efforts as the flight director when America faced its first emergency in space on Gemini 8, and Owen Maynard's contributions to Apollo. And there's much more. Top NASA officials were unanimous: the group from Canada was a "godsend" to NASA. Now, for the first time, their story is told in Arrows to the Moon.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
There's more to the American space program than you thought. 30 Nov. 2001
By Robert N. Mccullough - Published on
Format: Paperback
I grew up with the space program and have read every book I could get my hands on concerning the early space programs. This well-written and extensively-researched book covers a topic I hadn't considered: the contributions to the American space program made by the Canadian and British engineers and scientists who lost their jobs when the Canadian Avro Arrow was abruptly cancelled just as the space race was heating up. Many of these highly-trained workers made their way south, signed on with NASA, and made significant contributions to every manned space program from Mercury to the ISS. This is the definitive story of these people. Highly recommended.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A sleeping giant of a book. 1 Sept. 2004
By Nan Taylor - Published on
Format: Paperback
This hidden gem of a book is one of the best there is on the space program. Its main purpose is to explore a little-known but important corner of space history - the Canadian contribution to the space program. But it is so masterfully written, it manages to summarize the entire feeling of the Apollo program incredibly well - a feeling I remember from my many years working on the project. If you read one book on space history, this should be it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An excellent look at the international scope of the US Space Program 18 Feb. 2006
By Jay M. Chladek - Published on
Format: Paperback
Given that I am interested in both the space program and advanced aircraft projects like the Avro Arrow, I picked up this book hoping to maybe pick up a few tidbits on both projects. Boy could I have been more wrong (but in a very pleasant way) as this book more then surpassed my expectations. It turned out to be a very enjoyable read like pretty much every other publication offered by Apogee to date.

For those expecting a lot of technical details on the Arrow, unfortunately you don't get much. The Arrow book by Boston Mills Press would be a better starting point for that program (buy both books if you can).

This book is mainly a history and somewhat biographical account of various Avro engineers (Canadian and British born) who found themselves out of work when the Arrow was cancelled. These individuals eventually found themselves working for the fledgling NASA organization at a time when engineers with practical experience in aerospace projects were very much needed. Once there, they helped to design and build the spacecraft and associated hardware needed to first get men into space and eventually the moon. Not all of them went to work for NASA though as a few went to work for the contractors as well. Others returned to Canada after a short time to work for companies that would go on to help with Canada's satellite industry, contractor contributions to the US program and ultimately the Canadian Space Program. But this book is more then that as it doesn't just cover the Avro engineers. Other Canadian contributions by those who made the trek south (and who didn't work for Avro) are covered as well. It puts into perspective the truely international scope of the manned space program both during the 1960s and today.

I personally think this book should be required reading by both Canadian and English engineering students as this book allows them to take pride in the accomplishments of their countrymen and it can perhaps inspire them to accomplish greater goals. We can all take pride in the contributions made by our neighbors to the north to help us get to the moon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Engineering Lifeblood of Apollo 6 July 2006
By Wayne Rosberg - Published on
Format: Paperback
Apollo may have landed men on the Moon, but the real story is the shear audacity of a nation to dream and implement a program that has yet to be repeated. That nation was America, but without the inspiration and toil of thousands of people - the engineers - of which many of the key personel were Canadian and British, this venture would have faded slowly in the early sixties. This author has provided priceless first hand histories of the people that made the program, and created a narrative that is entertaining and informative to both the casual reader and the serious Lunar Program researcher. This book is about the circumstances that sent some of Canada's and Britain's brightest minds to America to join that nation in one of the most epic adventures in the history of mankind. Highly recommended reading.
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