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Missions to the Moon [Hardcover]

Rod Pyle
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 62 pages
  • Publisher: Andre Deutsch Ltd; Ill edition (11 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847322522
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847322524
  • Product Dimensions: 29.8 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,082,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


From the beginning of recorded history man has gazed into space and yearned to explore. Beginning with the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War, this unique book traces our quest to reach the moon. Through the inclusion of 200 stunning photographs and at least 15 beautifully recreated rare facsimile documents you will witness the first human spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin in 1961, experience the terrifying failures and stunning triumphs of the Apollo Missions, marvel at the first manned landing on the moon by Apollo 11 and gaze into the future of space exploration as space tourism enables us to finally realize the dream of opening up space to everyone. The documents will provisionally include: hardware diagrams and instructions; astronaut's notes and drawings; and, declassified Secret Documents.

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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem 8 July 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is, as its title suggests, an overview of the Apollo moon missions. Its secret, however, lies in the wealth of unusual photographs and facsimiles it contains. Many of these are not of the missions themselves, but of the behind the scenes activities. For instance, there is a photo of the Customs Declaration which the astronauts had to fill in on return to earth. Facsilimiles include a copy of the Flight Director's logbook for Apollo 13, and a document relating to Astronauts' life insurance. All of the facsimiles are of a very high standard (including the stains and creases, where appropriate).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Digger
Another 40th anniversary book that contains a well written history of the space race and the moon missions with excellent pictures. What sets this apart is the style of presentation that features lots of inlays, fold-outs and take-outs and makes it rather reminiscent of the Ology books for kids (Dragonology, etc). Certainly, it helps makes the content just that bit more interesting for inquisitive children who like to check out the maps, secret plans, mission logs and letters rather than just turning the page.

Overall, this is a really high quality package. However, at a rrp of 30, its 64 pages (with sturdy but unnecesary presentation box and hard covers) are a bit on the expensive side.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tis the season... 29 Jun 2009
By Roger D. Launius - Published on
...for large format illustrated histories of the Apollo program. The first Moon landing took place on July 20, 1969, forty years ago. As a result a lot of new books have appeared, all with stunning visuals and varying degrees of quality in historical text. This is one such book, but with a difference. Of course, the imagery published in it is superb. There are all of the obligatory photographs, images that have become iconic as time has passed, as well as others less well-known that help to illustrate the work. As is the case for other large illustrated histories the images are the central aspect of "Missions to the Moon." Five or six usually appear on every oversized page, numbers keying them to a legend that contains captions. A short narrative concerning whatever subject dominates the two-page spread supports the imagery, but certainly does not supplant it.

The truly unique feature of this book is a succession of pockets tipped into the pages containing a variety of primary source documents. Turn to the set of spreads on Apollo 11 (pp. 30-37), for instance, and readers will find facsimile reproductions of a "Lunar Module Descent Monitoring Chart--Sheet 2" available as a fold out, the summary of the "Apollo 11 Mission Report," and a memorandum entitled, "Single-trip insurance for Apollo 11 crew," dated July 7, 1969. This type of documentary material, all reproduced to look like the original, are scattered throughout "Missions to the Moon." All of this material is readily available from NASA, but for the spaceflight memorabilia collector or the Apollo geek, which I proudly claim to be the latter if not the former, this is a real attraction of the volume. It's fun to go through the book and see what little "goodies" author Pyle and the publisher decided to include at various points in the text.

"Missions to the Moon" is a fun book and a nice commemorative volume appearing at the 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing. Enjoy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about the historical, technical, and human aspects of space travel 19 Jun 2009
By A.M. - Published on
When I first got "Missions to the Moon," I didn't have time to give it a thorough reading. But I really wanted to take a look and kept picking it up for a few minutes at a time. These "flip-throughs" were entertaining and it was always hard to put the book down.

Later, I finally gave it my undivided attention. Its tale, spanning decades, is gripping. Even when I knew the outcome of a mission (such as the famous Apollo 13), my heart rate went up while reading the suspenseful parts. The facsimiles of newspaper articles, sketches, and letters make the reading experience more immediate. And the point of view balances the human and technical sides of these stories--geeks can revel in the minutiae of the diagrams and specs, while more casual fans of space travel will enjoy the personal, funny, and even odd details in each chapter.

I finished the book feeling like I had a much better "big picture" understanding of the history of space travel, and that I had simultaneously learned about each major event and mission in a detailed and very memorable way. Now I'm enjoying rereading individual chapters, poring over the details and putting them in more specific context.

I'm looking forward to sharing this with my six-year-old nephew (on a supervised basis--I don't want sticky fingerprints on the lovely facsimiles!), and planning to give a copy to my parents. "Missions to the Moon" does a great job of presenting information that would appeal to space travel fans of any age or level.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over 150 photos and 20 facsimile documents offer testimony to efforts 17 Nov 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
MISSIONS TO THE MOON: THE COMPLETE STORY OF MAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE offers a boxed, slipcased keepsake survey of man's quest to explore the moon, from the early development of the German V1 and V2 weapons to the Apollo moon landings. Over 150 photos and 20 facsimile documents offer testimony to efforts and removable pieces not appropriate for library lending, but perfect for a space fan's private collection.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure for the whole family! 5 Jun 2009
By A. Belden - Published on
I originally bought "Mission to the Moon" as a coffee table book, but quickly discovered it to be a historical goldmine for my whole family. Author Rod Pyle not only did his research and wrote a compelling history of man's quest to voyage to the moon; he also compiled a treasure trove of historical photos and documents. Copies of rare documents - government and NASA memos, official photos, flight plans, detailed rocket drawings and mission reports - are stuffed into evidence enclosures throughout the book. My kids "discovered" the first rocket drawings of German Wernher von Braun, as well as a U.S. government memo about his Nazi activities. A few chapters later, they found a copy of the Apollo spacecraft initial description and an official photo of the Apollo 7 crew.
In addition to the pullouts, the book`s layout - with sidebar stories and tons of historical photos - makes it easy for a reader to jump in on any page. The best part is that beneath the "fluff" - the pleasing layout and enclosed documents - is the well-told story of the failed and successful attempts humankind made to reach the moon. Pyle doesn't just cite dates and facts. He gets behind the scenes and shares the personalities of each crew, the humorous interchanges with Houston and even the grudges between certain crew members; Alan Shepard was rumored to have an ill temper while the Apollo 12 crew were known for their laughter and genuine love for each other. All in all, every member of my family is enjoying this book, and not one of them is a space junkie.
5.0 out of 5 stars Missions to the Moon 3 Jun 2009
By Ricardo de la Cruz - Published on
In a nutshell: this is a fabulous book.

I was attracted by two positive mentions (one in Popular Mechanics and another at The Space Coalition website), I wrangled an early copy of this book. With the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, a deluge of titles can be anticipated and I hoped that this might stand out. It does.

The book comes in a box slip-cover, and is of the "experiential" variety. Don't be misled by the slim page count of 64... for within these pages are some beautiful and unusual photos and 15 apparently faithful reproductions of space-race era artifacts. It's clear that these items were chosen with care and lovingly and faithfully reproduced for inclusion. From the amusing 1950's NASA memo suggesting a name change from "Project Mercury" to "Project Astronaut", to the Flight Director's log from Apollo 13 (entries by Gene Kranz regarding the emergency), these are fascinating historical treasures. To remove them from the slip-covers in the book and slowly unfold them in your hands has unanticipated power; it really does feel like going back in time or plundering some forgotten archive of the space race.

Attractively packaged, the book retails below $30 at the discounters. I heartily recommend it for the space enthusiast, the man in your life, or for any younger person to whom you wish to introduce the majesty of space exploration. In short, if you will buy one book on Project Apollo and manned space exploration this year, let this be that book.
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