Author: Henry S. F. Cooper
Publisher: Open Road Media
An “exciting” minute-by-minute account of the Apollo 13 flight based on mission control transcripts from Houston (The New York Times). On the evening of April 13, 1970, the three astronauts aboard Apollo 13 were just hours from the third lunar landing in history. But as they soared through space, two hundred thousand miles from Earth, an explosion badly damaged their spacecraft. With compromised engines and failing life-support systems, the crew was in incomparably grave danger. Faced with below-freezing temperatures, a seriously ill crewmember, and a dwindling water supply, a safe return seemed unlikely. Thirteen is the shocking and miraculous true story of how the astronauts and ground crew guided Apollo 13 back to Earth. Expanding on dispatches written for the New Yorker, Henry S. F. Cooper Jr. brings readers unparalleled detail on the moment-by-moment developments of one of NASA’s most dramatic missions.
Author: Henry S. F. Cooper
Publisher: JHU Press
An examination of the Apollo 13 mission focuses on the explosion that jeopardized the astronauts' lives and NASA's efforts to prevent disaster.
This memoir of a veteran NASA flight director tells riveting stories from the early days of the Mercury program through Apollo 11 (the moon landing) and Apollo 13, for both of which Kranz was flight director. Gene Kranz was present at the creation of America’s manned space program and was a key player in it for three decades. As a flight director in NASA’s Mission Control, Kranz witnessed firsthand the making of history. He participated in the space program from the early days of the Mercury program to the last Apollo mission, and beyond. He endured the disastrous first years when rockets blew up and the United States seemed to fall further behind the Soviet Union in the space race. He helped to launch Alan Shepard and John Glenn, then assumed the flight director’s role in the Gemini program, which he guided to fruition. With his teammates, he accepted the challenge to carry out President John F. Kennedy’s commitment to land a man on the Moon before the end of the 1960s. Kranz recounts these thrilling historic events and offers new information about the famous flights. What appeared as nearly flawless missions to the Moon were, in fact, a series of hair-raising near misses. When the space technology failed, as it sometimes did, the controllers’ only recourse was to rely on their skills and those of their teammates. He reveals behind-the-scenes details to demonstrate the leadership, discipline, trust, and teamwork that made the space program a success. A fascinating firsthand account by a veteran mission controller of one of America’s greatest achievements, Failure is Not an Option reflects on what has happened to the space program and offers his own bold suggestions about what we ought to be doing in space now.
Author: Jim Lovell, Jeffrey Kluger
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Recounts the four-day ordeal of Apollo 13 astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert and the dramatic struggle to bring back to Earth the tiny lunar module spacecraft into which they were forced to retreat when their main ship was damaged. Reprint.
Falling to Earth
Author: Al Worden, Francis French
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
The astronaut discusses his life, from his childhood growing up on a farm to his years working with NASA, including flying the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971.
Author: Christopher C. Kraft
Publisher: E P Dutton
One of the architects of the U.S. space program recalls his most exciting moments at mission control as he guided heroes like Alan Shepard and John Glenn on their historic missions.
Author: Craig Nelson
Read Craig Nelson's posts on the Penguin Blog. "Celebrates a bold era when voyaging beyond the Earth was deemed crucial to national security and pride." -The Wall Street Journal Restoring the drama, majesty, and sheer improbability of an American triumph, this is award-winning historian Craig Nelson's definitive and thrilling story of man's first trip to the moon. At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. Through interviews, 23,000 pages of NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents on the space race, Rocket Men presents a vivid narrative of the moon mission, taking readers on the journey to one of the last frontiers of the human imagination. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Rick Houston, Milt Heflin
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
The inspiration for the documentary Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo At first glance, it looks like just another auditorium in just another government building. But among the talented men (and later women) who worked in mission control, the room located on the third floor of Building 30—at what is now Johnson Space Center—would become known by many as “the Cathedral.” These members of the space program were the brightest of their generations, making split-second decisions that determined the success or failure of a mission. The flight controllers, each supported by a staff of specialists, were the most visible part of the operation, running the missions, talking to the heavens, troubleshooting issues on board, and, ultimately, attempting to bring everyone safely back home. None of NASA’s storied accomplishments would have been possible without these people. Interviews with dozens of individuals who worked in the historic third-floor mission control room bring the compelling stories to life. Go, Flight! is a real-world reminder of where we have been and where we could go again given the right political and social climate.
The Mercury 13
Author: Martha Ackmann
Publisher: Random House
For readers of The Astronaut Wives Club, The Mercury 13 reveals the little-known true story of the remarkable women who trained for NASA space flight. In 1961, just as NASA launched its first man into space, a group of women underwent secret testing in the hopes of becoming America’s first female astronauts. They passed the same battery of tests at the legendary Lovelace Foundation as did the Mercury 7 astronauts, but they were summarily dismissed by the boys’ club at NASA and on Capitol Hill. The USSR sent its first woman into space in 1963; the United States did not follow suit for another twenty years. For the first time, Martha Ackmann tells the story of the dramatic events surrounding these thirteen remarkable women, all crackerjack pilots and patriots who sometimes sacrificed jobs and marriages for a chance to participate in America’s space race against the Soviet Union. In addition to talking extensively to these women, Ackmann interviewed Chuck Yeager, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, and others at NASA and in the White House with firsthand knowledge of the program, and includes here never-before-seen photographs of the Mercury 13 passing their Lovelace tests. Despite the crushing disappointment of watching their dreams being derailed, the Mercury 13 went on to extraordinary achievement in their lives: Jerrie Cobb, who began flying when she was so small she had to sit on pillows to see out of the cockpit, dedicated her life to flying solo missions to the Amazon rain forest; Wally Funk, who talked her way into the Lovelace trials, went on to become one of the first female FAA investigators; Janey Hart, mother of eight and, at age forty, the oldest astronaut candidate, had the political savvy to steer the women through congressional hearings and later helped found the National Organization for Women. A provocative tribute to these extraordinary women, The Mercury 13 is an unforgettable story of determination, resilience, and inextinguishable hope. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Jeffrey Kluger
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
The untold story of the historic voyage to the moon that closed out one of our darkest years with a nearly unimaginable triumph In August 1968, NASA made a bold decision: in just sixteen weeks, the United States would launch humankind’s first flight to the moon. Only the year before, three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, and since then the Apollo program had suffered one setback after another. Meanwhile, the Russians were winning the space race, the Cold War was getting hotter by the month, and President Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade seemed sure to be broken. But when Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders were summoned to a secret meeting and told of the dangerous mission, they instantly signed on. Written with all the color and verve of the best narrative non-fiction, Apollo 8 takes us from Mission Control to the astronaut’s homes, from the test labs to the launch pad. The race to prepare an untested rocket for an unprecedented journey paves the way for the hair-raising trip to the moon. Then, on Christmas Eve, a nation that has suffered a horrendous year of assassinations and war is heartened by an inspiring message from the trio of astronauts in lunar orbit. And when the mission is over—after the first view of the far side of the moon, the first earth-rise, and the first re-entry through the earth’s atmosphere following a flight to deep space—the impossible dream of walking on the moon suddenly seems within reach. The full story of Apollo 8 has never been told, and only Jeffrey Kluger—Jim Lovell’s co-author on their bestselling book about Apollo 13—can do it justice. Here is the tale of a mission that was both a calculated risk and a wild crapshoot, a stirring account of how three American heroes forever changed our view of the home planet.
Author: Frank Borman, Robert J. Serling
Publisher: Silver Arrow
Recounts Borman's flights aboard NASA's Gemini 7 and Apollo 8, and his battle to keep Eastern Airlines financially sound during his tenure as the company's president
We Could Not Fail
Author: Richard Paul, Steven Moss
Publisher: University of Texas Press
The Space Age began just as the struggle for civil rights forced Americans to confront the long and bitter legacy of slavery, discrimination, and violence against African Americans. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson utilized the space program as an agent for social change, using federal equal employment opportunity laws to open workplaces at NASA and NASA contractors to African Americans while creating thousands of research and technology jobs in the Deep South to ameliorate poverty. We Could Not Fail tells the inspiring, largely unknown story of how shooting for the stars helped to overcome segregation on earth. Richard Paul and Steven Moss profile ten pioneer African American space workers whose stories illustrate the role NASA and the space program played in promoting civil rights. They recount how these technicians, mathematicians, engineers, and an astronaut candidate surmounted barriers to move, in some cases literally, from the cotton fields to the launching pad. The authors vividly describe what it was like to be the sole African American in a NASA work group and how these brave and determined men also helped to transform Southern society by integrating colleges, patenting new inventions, holding elective office, and reviving and governing defunct towns. Adding new names to the roster of civil rights heroes and a new chapter to the story of space exploration, We Could Not Fail demonstrates how African Americans broke the color barrier by competing successfully at the highest level of American intellectual and technological achievement.
Author: Robert Kurson
Publisher: Random House
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind’s historic first mission to the Moon, from the bestselling author of Shadow Divers. “Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian and Artemis By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas. In a year of historic violence and discord—the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago—the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America’s greatness under pressure. In this gripping insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight. Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time—and arrive at a new world. Praise for Rocket Men “In 1968 we sent men to the Moon. They didn’t leave boot prints, but it was the first time humans ever left Earth for another destination. That mission was Apollo 8. And Rocket Men, under Robert Kurson’s compelling narrative, is that under-told story.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson “Rocket Men is a riveting introduction to the [Apollo 8] flight. . . . Kurson details the mission in crisp, suspenseful scenes. . . . [A] gripping book.”—The New York Times Book Review
Author: Robert Zimmerman
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
The story of Apollo 8, the first manned vehicle to leave earth orbit and circle round the moon, is told in vivid detail, focusing on the mission's historical, scientific, and media importance. Reprint.