In fiction, spaceships are either flying saucers or large, sleek aerodynamic bullets. In the real world, humanity's first true spacecraft was an unpresupposing cylinder, barely large enough to accommodate three astronauts. The Command and Service modules made up the Apollo spacecraft - an integration of more than 3 million precision components, comprising the most intricate machine ever created by mankind. Each Apollo spacecraft was an amazing amalgamation of state-of-the-art high technology and hand worked craftsmanship. During each Apollo mission attention was focused on the astronauts, with their marvellous spacecraft impinging on the public's awareness only at take-off and splashdown. But during all the days of each mission the Apollo Command and Service Modules performed faithfully and almost flawlessly, 24 hours a day, keeping three men alive and comfortable, maintaining communications, and monitoring themselves, as well as the astronauts, the Earth and the Moon. With this book, for the first time the public can become acquainted with the Apollo spacecraft in detail and learn the story of its design and construction.
Full colour drawings in exacting detail provide and inside and out views of the Command and Service Modules complete with details of construction and fabrication. The Apollo spacecraft is the most intricate and exacting machine ever built, and it had to be as near to perfect as it could be made, every time. With over 3 million components, a performance record of 99.9 per cent would still leave 3,000 parts that could fail - any one of which might result in the deaths of the crew. With the exception of Apollo 13, the spacecraft lived up to expectations on every lunar mission, and even Apollo 13, after a major explosion, managed to circle the Moon and bring its crew home safely. This is a book long overdue; the care and completeness with which it has been created speak for themselves. Thanks to the dedication and hard work that have gone into this book, we can now truly appreciate the magnificent machine that was the Apollo spacecraft and marvel at the achievements of the many thousands of engineers and technicians who stayed on Earth but were on the mission every step of the way.