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Apollo: The Definitive Sourcebook (Springer Praxis Books) Paperback – 2 Jun 2010
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From the reviews:
"This book, being a source book, sets out the facts of the Apollo program. … At the end of each chapter, text provides conclusions and objectives that demonstrate the value added. As well, chapters finish with a brief selection of relevant black and white photographs. From these, the reader has an excellent ready referral to each of the Apollo missions. … This book is ideal for readers who want a ready reference on the events and timelines of the Apollo missions." (Mark Mortimer, www.universetoday.com, January, 2007)
"This massive 663-page book is an invaluable record of the exact times of all the significant events in the Apollo programme … . A unique feature is that the specific objectives for each flight are carefully listed, with a record of whether or not each was achieved. … historians will get value for money." (Reglnald Turnhill, Astronomy Now, January, 2007)
"Apollo: The Definitive Sourcebook is designed to provide a comprehensive reference for facts about Apollo. … the authors turned to original documents, some of which were previously unavailable to the public. This book provides a complete overview of the entire Apollo program including its origins, a detailed narrative about individual missions, tables listing facts and figures for each mission, and a comprehensive statistical reference of the program." (Quest, Vol. 13 (3), 2006)
"A sort of trainspotter’s guide to the Apollo missions, this very useful book brings together extensive facts and figures for each mission … . This truly is the best reference work on Apollo that’s been published to date, and no library of books on Apollo can be complete without this book. It is unreservedly recommended!" (David Maclennan, Liftoff, Issue 238, 2007)
“For those of you with a keen interest in the Apollo Project, this book provides all the facts and figures you could want in one place. … each flight is fully covered and has a set of tables that really do include just about everything you could possibly want to know about that mission from pre-launch through to recovery. So, if you are interested in the details that go beyond the scope of many books about the Moon landings, this is the volume for you.” (M. J. Bowyer, Amazon, October, 2009)
“I have read a number of books on this subject but have never come across one which has such depth of information, facts and figures. … Each of the missions is covered on it time line basis in incredible and often fascinating detail … . If you have an interest in Man’s Greatest endeavour this reference book is an amazing read, its title as ‘the definitive source book’ is well earned.” (W. Pete, Amazon, November, 2010)
On 25 May 1961, John F Kennedy announced the goal of landing an American man on the Moon by the end of the decade. This challenge forced NASA to review the planned lunar landing of a three-man spaceship named Apollo in the mid-1970s. In 1962, it was decided that a specialized vehicle would accompany the main spacecraft, to make the lunar landing while the mothership remained in lunar orbit. To send these vehicles to the Moon would require the development of an enormous rocket. Development was protracted, but in December 1968 Apollo 8 was launched on a pioneering mission to perform an initial reconnaissance in lunar orbit. When Apollo 17 lifted off from the Moon in December 1972, the program was concluded. Now, at long last, there is a real prospect of a resumption of human exploration of the Moon. This book provides an overview of the origins of the Apollo program and descriptions of the ground facilities, launch vehicles and spacecraft that will serve as an invaluable single-volume sourcebook for space enthusiasts, space historians, journalists, and programme-makers on radio and TV.It supplements other books that have focused on the politics and management of the Apollo program, the astronauts, and their training and exploits. See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It contains details and minutia for every Apollo mission, both unmanned and manned. If you want to know when the Apollo 15 lunar module Falcon separated from the Command/Service Module, it is here. What was their altitude above the lunar surface at separation? It is here too. Hover time remaining at landing for any of the manned lunar modules? Easy-peasy, just look it up in the Appendices of this book. The authors have done a yeomen's job of assembling and organizing this info into a single source that should be on the shelf of every space journalist and aficionado.
Any negatives? Yes. While the picture selection for each mission is excellent, the reproductions of some seems curiously "flat." I don't know if it is the printing process or the paper quality, but some images seem to lack zing and contrast while others jump out at the reader.
I can get moon images from other sources, the real treasures are all the little details this book contains. I cannot recommend this book enough, but remember that it is intended to be a source book (it says so in the title), not necessarily a narrative story of each Apollo mission. As for me, I suspect that within a month my copy of this book will be dog-eared and stuffed with post-it tabs.
This book focuses on the actual flights of Apollo starting with the unmanned launches of the Saturn 1 rockets all the way through. For every flight there is a story giving the main objectives of the mission, what actually happened during the mission then a post-mission comparison to see which goals were fully met, partially met etc.
For every flight the times of the main mission points are also listed (including countdown and holds).
For any fan of Apollo or the moonwalks this is an invaluable book and the authors have done an excellent job of combing through the missions, taking out all the salient points and presenting them in a excellent fashion. You can either read this book as a factual novel or can dip in and find facts for a specific flight very easily.
Highly recommended for Apollo or NASA fans but not a book for the casual reader.