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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy memories of my childhood, 14 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Moon Flight Atlas (A Mitchell Beazley book) (Hardcover)
This is a thin, large format book, published in a rush in 1969 to take advantage of the wave of popularity of books about the Moon landings and the high visibility of Patrick Moore on television as a moon-landing presenter. Various editions were produced, with the original post-Apollo 11 version being updated after each successive mission with (usually) two double pages of spectacular photographs and information from the mission. This particular book is the Apollo XIII version, produced after the space rescue, rather than the original, which I received as a Christmas present in 1969.

For fans of the moon missions and of space this is a lovely book. It is lavishly illustrated, The large page format allowing many photographs to be included with a good size on each page. There are also many of the original drawings that the BBC used in their live coverage as simulations to inform the viewer when, logically, no live images were available.

Some of the images are well known, others less so. The centre spread double page image of the lunar farside is breath-taking and compares favourably with anything from recent lunar probes. Most of these images are timeless and look as good now as they did then. It is a lovely record of a period of lunar exploration that, for those who lived it, was the most exciting time to live perhaps of the whole of human history. Those of us who where children then grew up thinking that these events were just normal yet now, more than 40 years later, a return to the Moon is more distant than ever and even manned spaceflight has ceased to be a common event, with no more than a handful of launches per year. It was a time of magic that this book recalls so beautifully.

At the end of the book there is a look forward. It all seemed reasonable at the time. The Mars pages at the end though look desperately aged and tired and, within a year had been left totally out of date. A few days after Apollo XI landed on the Moon Mariners 6 and 7 passed Mars, taking the first really high quality images of the surface, although only of the cratered highlands. Even in 1969 this little section looked out of place and time has not made it look any better!

If you are from the Moon landing generation, or are looking for a gift for someone of that generation who lived the Moon landings, this is a wonderful gift that will bring back so many happy memories and, in general, it is as worthwhile an addition to a library now as it was then, perhaps more so as we forget those events or, even doubt that they ever really happened.
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M. Kidger
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Location: Madrid, Spain

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