Eight Years to the Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission

Av: Nancy Atkinson

Eight Years to the Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission
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In July of 1969, three astronauts set off on an historic mission to land on the moon. Now, 50 years later, a new book celebrates the achievement of the Apollo missions, detailing an incredible period of science and engineering history.
   Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions tells the unique personal stories of over 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make the Apollo program possible. The eight years from President Kennedy's challenge in 1961 to the first Moon landing in 1969 are filled with stories of the dedication and perseverance it took to overcome the challenges, hurdles and conflicts of doing things that had never been done before. The stories are fun, heart-warming and heart-breaking and they provide a glimpse into the lives of some of the hundreds of thousands of people who made it possible to land humans on the Moon.
   Unique stories come from people like Henry Pohl (director of engineering at Johnson Space Center),Glynn Lunney and Gerry Griffin (Apollo flight directors), Frank Hughes(lead test engineer for the Apollo command and lunar module simulators), and Bill Widnall (MIT computer expert).
   There are also stories from two of the very few women engineers at NASA during the 1960's (Dottie Lee and Catherine Osgood) and one of the few African American engineers (Earle Kyle) at Honeywell, one of the Apollo contractor companies.
   With Atkinson's engaging style, it's easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of that era. In the words of Henry Pohl when he saw his first rocket test launch, "When that thing lit off, I had never seen such power in my life...I decided right then and there that's what I wanted to be part of..." And he was far from alone.
   Through interviews and research, Atkinson uncovers little-known details about the Apollo program, including a potentially catastrophic event that could have ended the Apollo 11 mission in disaster.