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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 December 2011
Because these `independent' reviews are so useful I thought I'd do mine.

`How Apollo Flew to the Moon' is given instant credibility because Apollo astronaut David Scott wrote the Forward and for space fans do you need to know anything else? It follows a complete Apollo mission and is written like a text book in that the Chapters contain lots and lots of `sub' Chapters which enables you to read a bit, put it down for a while and then easily pick up the story up again. I can get lost and bored with some books but this is immensely readable.

It is an excellent book if you like all the Technical and Engineering information about all the hardware and has lots of sketches photographs and photos astronauts took on the moon. But don't be put off by that because there are loads and loads of the conversations between the astronauts as well!

Something I've always wondered about is how from blasting off the moon the Lander was able to find the Service Module? Well all the information about navigation trajectory and burns is here. There are even two pages of definitions for all the LM computer programs.

Most importantly there are loads of new facts, like I never knew they carried a radioactive cylinder which was taken off the outside of the LM on the moon and then placed in the ALSEP so providing its electricity.

Finally and most importantly if you ever have those tiny (2.am and in bed) nagging doubts like "did we really go to the moon?" then this emphatically answers the question. America DID put a man on the moon, who walked about its surface and then came home safely........not for the idiots who think it was all a hoax!
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on 7 March 2012
I was 13 when men first walked on the moon and, surrounded by Airfix models of the Saturn V and Apollo spacecraft, and every book I could find on the subject, I followed each mission avidly.

Now aged 56 (and still surrounded by models and books!), I have not lost my interest in what was probably the greatest human adventure and technical achievement of all time. The sheer audacity in attempting such a feat using 1960s technology may be lost on some of today's blasé younger generation, for whom it is `just' history or, for the ludicrously ignorant, even a hoax.

W. David Woods's book is a tour de force on the subject and absolutely essential reading for any Apollo enthusiast, taking you through every sequential step of a mission, in great detail, from pre-launch to recovery. It explains the technicalities and jargon clearly for the layman, with numerous illustrations and diagrams, so that by the end of the book you almost feel as if you have flown it yourself.

In his Foreword to the book, David R. Scott (Commander of Apollo 15) describes it as 'This exceptional book'. Enough said.

It is the best book I have read (and I have read many) on the `nuts and bolts' of Apollo and I highly recommend it.
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on 21 November 2013
I have read this book and immediately became very sad. The reason was that book has ended while I wish I could continue the challenge together with all these brave and brilliant people who was part of this miracle project.
I mean it - this book makes it very easy for you to imagine how you would feel in astronaut's shoes. The book has a great effect of presence and participation in the action.
Strongly recommended for all fans of space technology.
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on 24 June 2015
Terrific read if you lived through the Apollo era or are interested in space flight. It takes you though every stage of a mission - and as you read this one's appreciation of the risks the Apollo team confronted simply grows and grows. It provides a great insight into the technology employed, and the critical design parameters - and then what it was like on board or in mission control as the missions progressed. An absorbing read - if you like this sort of thing!
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on 4 January 2015
I grew up with a fascination for the Apollo space programme and remember as a child staring at the moon with wonder and thinking that a man had walked about up there. Despite this early interest, I have never read that much about the history of the race to the moon. Of course I watched the movie Apollo 13 and I also collected the ‘Observers‘ books of manned spaceflight, written by Reginald Turnill, when I was young. My interest was rekindled just over a year ago by an Apollo 11 ‘Haynes’ manual I received as a Christmas gift and this led to a desire to explore the history of this programme in more detail.

While there are plenty of books full of great photographs, I found it harder to find the more descriptive book I was looking for. In the end I decided that (despite the awful cover art) the book How Apollo Flew to the Moon by W. David Woods appeared to suit my needs. This is quite a technical book and the diagrams and photographs — although they get the job done — are not great. On the other hand the text is well-written and well researched. This is clearly an author who knows his subject well enough to present it quite simply while omitting little of the essential detail.

The book starts conventionally enough with a short history of the space race and each of the Apollo missions. I found it really interesting to learn that, while the later Apollo missions were viewed with public apathy and the budget was cut, NASA was actually quite ambitious with a series of ‘J’ missions that utilised upgraded hardware and software to support extended visits to the moon that could carry far more scientific hardware.

What made this book outstanding for me is the step-by-step description of a moon flight given in the section from chapter 3 onwards. The content is rather complex (but still readable), covering principles of inertial navigation, celestial mechanics and the communication systems used. If I have one criticism, it is that the author often re-explains something covered in an earlier chapter as if this were a book for dipping in to. I think this description of a space flight is best read as a single narrative from launch to touch-down.

The great achievement of this book is that the insights gained do not diminish any of the sense of awe and wonder at what was the apogee of the manned space exploration programme.
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on 9 July 2016
I bought this book for Kindle. It does say it's ok for iPhone, but when I opened it, it's un-readable. It's just images of the book pages, not converted for Kindle at all. The type is so small you have to zoom every single part of every page. I may re-order as an actual book but no good for holiday reading. I only noticed the tiny print on the Amazon advert that says it's 'print replica' AFTER I had ordered.
I have contacted the seller to ask for refund or money off the actual book, but no response. Nothing. Not very good.
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on 30 January 2015
A really excellent book that does as it title says. It is not a highly technical book in terms of equations or descriptions of the detailed workings of the Apollo computers, rockets etc but it does give a really good general description of how they got to the moon and back. At 500 pages it is really good value for money.
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on 6 January 2012
What a great read. As the author states, by far the majority of books about space missions look at them from the exploration or astronaut point of view.
Having a text that examines the technical requirements and innovations made to enable man to walk on the Moon in one book make a refreshing change.
As a military aircraft engineer living in the UK, where engineering is under appreciated, its great to see the engineer rightly indentified as the individuals who made the Moon Landings possible.
Well done W. David Woods and Springer Praxis Publishing.
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on 16 April 2016
I've read quite a few books over the years about the Apollo Program, but this is something special, it covers all possible aspects of the Apollo flights into vivid detail. I cant fault it really, fabulous read.
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on 10 August 2016
Wonderful comprehensive account of every stage of an Apollo mission. Can't praise this book enough as it gives comprehensive yet clear and understandable descriptions of a lunar mission. If you are an Apollo fan then you have to own this book!
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