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Moon Launch!: A History of the Saturn-Apollo Launch Operations [Paperback]

Charles D. Benson , William Barnaby Faherty

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Book Description

28 Feb 2001 History of the Saturn-Apollo Launch Operations
Moon Launch! recreates the exciting story of the astronauts and engineers, scientists and technicians, politicians and public citizens who expanded the world's understanding of humanity's potential, the people responsible for the Project Apollo flights to the moon. Through their teamwork at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral became the spaceport for the nation and, in the minds of many, the gateway to the universe. A companion to Gateway to the Moon and also part of the 1978 NASA History Series Moonport volume, this illustrated book describes the seven missions to the moon launched between 1969 and 1972. With the exception of the abortive Apollo 13 flight, all landed successfully. As the story progresses, astronauts explore the moon's surface in the lunar rover (complete with bucket seats and power steering), set up experiments, and bring back hundreds of pounds of lunar geological samples. The book concludes with a description of the last and most spectacular liftoff, Apollo 17, launched on a dark December night before a crowd of nearly 500,000 visitors.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! 1 Sep 2001
By Kate - Published on Amazon.com
First published as part of the NASA History Series under the title "Moonport", the University of Florida Press very wisely decided to split the book into two easier to read volumes. The first volume primarily tells the story of how Florida swamp land was turned into the world's most sophisicated launch centre. The second volume which will suit the more casual reader goes into detail about the Missions themselves with an extensive chapter on the Apollo 1 fire, a subject which NASA is still touchy about. All the Apollo missions are described and looking back in perspective, I am dismayed that it is nearly thirty years since men last walked on the Moon.
For anyone interested in space, this is an essential book to have and read again and again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Reprint of a Classic Study in the History of Spaceflight 14 Jan 2004
By Roger D. Launius - Published on Amazon.com
In 1978 Charles D. Benson and William Barnaby Faherty published "Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations" as NASA Special Publication-4204. It was an outstanding history of the design and construction of the lunar launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center. Of "Moonport," a reviewer in the "Journal of American History" said in 1979, "The authors had access to official documents, letters, and memoranda, and they have apparently consulted all the relevant historical, technological, and scientific secondary materials...all the involved historians obviously spent con-siderable time studying and intellectually digesting technical reports and manuals in order to give their lay readers such lucid accounts of highly complex procedures and operations...it is important to public knowledge to have professionally trained his-torians employ historical methods to ex-plain significant events and place them in a meaningful historical context. Here is a broad lesson...that contemporary society can ill afford to ignore."
"Moonport" has been out of print for many years, and comanding a high price on the second-hand book market, but now it has been reprinted in a convenient paperback version. "Moon Launch!" contains the second half of the text of "Moonport," chapters 15-24, and the appendices, of the earlier work. For anyone interested in the race to the Moon, this book is a must read!
5.0 out of 5 stars Details the procedures to launch a Saturn moon rocket 27 Dec 2004
By Neil Mavis - Published on Amazon.com
Moon Launch! Is a sister book to "Gateway to the Moon" (GTTM) GTTM is an excellent history of the development of the space center launch complex, while "Moon Launch" is a great history of the development of the Saturn V rocket.

The book details the development of the crawler, the launch complexes, and the Saturn V. Details of each Saturn flight are explained, including manned and unmanned flights. I found the countdown charts particularly interesting because they highlight the complexity of assembling, preparing, and launching the Saturn V rocket.

Today, we take for granted man went to the moon. This book explains the incredible details that had to be accurately addressed just to assemble and launch the rocket.

Another must-have book for the library of an armchair astronaut.
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed account of the building and operations involved in Apollo 12 Dec 2012
By Colin Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Moon Launch is the second book regarding the planning, building and operations that went into the Apollo moon landings. The first part of the book is Gateway to the Moon by the same authors.
Originally published as a single volume, it was decided to split it into two and this leads to some minor discrepancies in the text where the book refers you to pages that don't match up. This second book begins page numbering back at 1 so when the text refers you for example page 546, you cannot find it.
This minor point aside, the book details mainly the launch operations for the Apollo spacecraft including in part the building the LC39 (The luanch pads for Apollo), the crawler transporter etc. The second half of this volume details the launch operations of the Saturn V launch vehicles, the problems that each flight ran into during checkout and testing, assembly of the Saturn Vs in the VAB etc.
There is a lot of technical information contained in these books although it has been written in such a way that the average person can understand, however this really isn't a book for the average layperson, more a book for people who have a real interest in the Apollo project or the moon landings.
Overall a very good book filled with lots of detailed information presented in a readable fashion but one really for space buffs only.
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive accounct 30 Oct 2010
By Patrick Gleeson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book - along with it's companion 'Gateway To The Moon' are the definite account of the mammoth undertaking that was the establishment of Kennedy Space Centre in the 1960's. Everything about KSC and it's environs is on an epic scale, and these scholarly but very readable works bring to life the day to day management decisions, tensions, inter-center conflicts and eventual unanimity that was a hallmark of NASA in it's greatest era of expansion.

Highly recommended.
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