Roger D. Launius and J.D. Hunley
NASA History Office
Armstrong, Neil A., et al. First on the Moon:
A Voyage with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.
Written with Gene Farmer and Dora Jane Hamblin. Epilogue by Arthur C.
Clarke. Boston: Little, Brown, 1970. This is the "official" memoir of
the Apollo 11 landing mission to the Moon in 1969. It was prepared by
the ghost writers Farmer and Hamblin from information made available exclusively
to them through a somewhat infamous Time-Life/Field Enterprises contract
that excluded the rest of the media from contact with the astronauts'
families. Contains much personal information about the astronauts that
is not available elsewhere.
Barbour, John. Footprints on the Moon. Washington, DC: The Associated
Press, 1969. This illustrated history consists of 12 chapters with numerous
photographs to produce a popular history that capitalized on the interest
surrounding the flight of Apollo 11 in 1969.
Benson, Charles D. and Faherty, William Barnaby. Moonport: A History
of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations. Washington, DC: NASA SP-4204,
1978. An excellent history of the design and construction of the lunar
launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center. Of Moonport, a reviewer
in the Journal of American History said in 1979, "The authors had
access to official documents, letters, and memoranda, and they have apparently
consulted all the relevant historical, technological, and scientific secondary
materials...all the involved historians obviously spent considerable time
studying and intellectually digesting technical reports and manuals in
order to give their lay readers such lucid accounts of highly complex
procedures and operations...it is important to public knowledge to have
professionally trained historians employ historical methods to explain
significant events and place them in a meaningful historical context.
Here is a broad lesson...that contemporary society can ill afford to ignore."
Bergaust, Erik. Murder on Pad 34. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons,
1968. A highly critical account of the investigation of the Apollo 204
accident in January 1967 that killed astronauts Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee,
and Edward White. Bergaust takes issue with NASA's design approach that
allowed for the use of a pure oxygen atmosphere in the Apollo command
module. It is largely a journalistic rehash of criticism of NASA coming
from Congress and the media, with very little new commentary or analysis
and no new factual information. Bergaust concludes that the human and
fiscal sacrifices made in Project Apollo have been in vain, since the
Soviet Union (seen as the reason for Apollo) may not be going to Moon
Bilstein, Roger E. Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the
Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles. Washington, DC: NASA SP-4206, 1980.
This thorough and well-written book gives a detailed but highly readable
account of the enormously complex process whereby NASA and especially
the Marshall Space Flight Center under the direction of Wernher von Braun
developed the launch vehicles used in the Apollo program ultimately to
send twelve humans to the Moon. Based on exhaustive research and equipped
with extensive bibliographic references, this book comes as close to being
a definitive history of the Saturn rocket program as is likely ever to
appear. Moreover, it is not simply a technical history but covers the
decision-making process that lay behind the technological development,
making it not just a history of nuts and bolts but also an analysis of
technical management and organization. As one reviewer said in Air
University Review, "This volume is just one of many excellent histories
produced by government and contract historians for the NASA History Office....The
book is enhanced by many excellent appendixes and charts, and it has a
thorough essay on sources and documentation, including exhaustive references
and notes....Author Roger Bilstein...gracefully wends his way through
a maze of technical documentation to reveal the important themes of his
story; rarely has such a nuts-and-bolts tale been so gracefully told."
Booker, Peter Jeffrey; Frewer, G.C.; and, Pardoe, G.K.C. Project Apollo:
The Way to the Moon. New York: American Elsevier Pub. Co., 1969. A
popular and readable account prepared in anticipation of and released
just after the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, this book condenses the essential
details of ten years of American space activities into a short narrative.
It begins with a discussion of the enormous growth of NASA and the entire
space effort in the early 1960s and ends with speculation on future developments
in human exploration of the solar system.
Borman, Frank. Countdown: An Autobiography. New York: William Morrow,
Silver Arrow Books, 1988. With Robert J. Serling. Written to appear on
the twentieth anniversary of the first lunar landing, this autobiography
spans much more than the Apollo program. It recounts Borman's life in
aeronautics, first as a military flier, then as a test pilot, and finally
as president of Eastern Airlines.
Breuer, William B. Race to the Moon: America's Duel with the Soviets.
Westport, CT: Praeger, 1993. This book, written by a journalist who has
made a career out of writing World War II adventures, is neither about
the race to the Moon, nor the U.S. rivalry with the U.S.S.R. The majority
of it is, instead, about the World War II efforts of the German rocket
team under Wernher von Braun at Peenemünde, their wartime exploits,
their surrender to American forces in 1945, and their post-war activities
in the United States. Only 6 of 24 chapters actually deal with Project
Apollo, and none of the book goes beyond the popular literature on either
the Germans or Apollo.
Brooks, Courtney G., Grimwood, James M., and Swenson, Loyd S., Jr. Chariots
for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft. Washington: NASA
SP-4205, 1979. The authors of this book describe it accurately in their
preface (p. xiv) as beginning "with the creation of NASA itself and with
the definition of a manned space flight program to follow Mercury. It
ends with Apollo 11, when America attained its goal of the 1960s, landing
the first men on the moon and returning them to the earth. The focal points
of this story are the spacecraftthe command and service modules
and the lunar module." Based on exhaustive documentary and secondary research
as well as 341 interviews, this well-written volume covers the design,
development, testing, evaluation, and operational use of the Apollo spacecraft
through July 1969.
CBS News. 10:56:20 PM EDT, 7/20/69: The Historic Conquest of the Moon
as Reported to the American People. New York: Columbia Broadcasting
System, 1970. As the title suggests, this is an attempt to capture in
print and pictures the reporting on humankind's first landing on the Moon
during Apollo 11. It is more useful in capturing the immediacy of the
moment than in providing a historical assessment of the event and its
Chaikin, Andrew. A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts.
New York: Viking, 1994. One of the best books on Apollo, this work emphasizes
the exploration of the Moon by the astronauts between 1968 and 1972.
Chapman, Richard L. Project Management in NASA: The System and the
Men. Washington, DC: NASA SP-324, 1973. Based on almost 150 interviews
and contributions by NASA officials, this slight and somewhat uncritical
study does provide a useful look at NASA's project management system that
contributed significantly to the success of the Apollo program. Although
far from a definitive treatment, this volume provides useful information
on management within NASA during the Apollo era, although it does not
focus specifically on Apollo. It covers especially the Office of Space
Science and Applications, the Office of Advanced Research and Technology,
and the field center organization. Equipped with useful if dated and selected
reference notes and bibliography.
Collins, Michael. Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys. New
York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1974. This is the first candid book about
life as an astronaut, written by the member of the Apollo 11 crew that
remained in orbit around the Moon. The author comments on other astronauts,
describes the seemingly endless preparations for flights to the Moon,
and assesses the results. He also describes what he thinks of as the most
important perspective that emerged from his flight, a realization of the
fragility of the Earth. He wrote that "from space there is no hint of
ruggedness to it; smooth as a billiard ball, it seems delicately poised
on its circular journey around the Sun, and above all it seems fragile...Is
the sea water clean enough to pour over your head, or is there a glaze
of oil on its surface?...Is the riverbank a delight or an obscenity? The
difference between a blue-and-white planet and a black-and-brown one is
______. Liftoff: The Story of America's Adventure in Space. New
York: Grove Press, 1988. A general history of the U.S. space program for
a popular audience written by a former astronaut, begins with an account
by one of the three participating astronauts of the Apollo 11 flight.
He then flashes back to the post-World War II beginnings of the United
States' interest in space and traces the evolution of the space program
through the history of the Apollo program. These sections account for
roughly two-thirds of the book, with the remainder taking the story of
U.S. space exploration through Skylab to the Challenger accident
and the prospects for space efforts as they looked in the late 1980s.
Compton, W. David. Where No Man Has Gone Before: A History of Apollo
Lunar Exploration Missions. Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and
Space Administration SP-4214, 1989. This clearly written account traces
the ways in which scientists with interests in the Moon and engineers
concerned with landing people on Earths satellite resolved their
differences of approach and carried out a mission that made major contributions
to science and developed remarkable engineering achievements. Roughly
half of the volume is devoted to preparations for the lunar landings,
with the remainder of the book detailing the lunar explorations that followed
Apollo 11, in which twelve astronauts visited the Moon and brought back
lunar samples for scientists to investigate.
Cooke, Hereward Lester, with the collaboration of Dean, James D. Eyewitness
to Space: Paintings and Drawings Related to the Apollo Mission to the
Moon Selected, with a Few Exceptions, from the Art Program of the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (1963 to 1969). Foreword by J.
Carter Brown. Preface by Thomas O. Paine. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1971.
A collection of 258 paintings and drawings in reproduction, created by
a variety of artists ranging from Norman Rockwell to Chesley Bonestell.
A magnificent and variegated collection.
Cooper, Henry S.F. Apollo on the Moon. New York: Dial Press, 1969.
In this book Cooper predicts, before the landing of Apollo 11 astronauts
on the Moon in July 1969, what they would encounter. More important, he
follows the preparations for the mission with great skill and recounts
them in his personal and scintillating style. A small work, this book
is barely 140 pages and is taken almost verbatim from Cooper's New
_____. Moon Rocks. New York: Dial Press, 1970. This is an informal
account of the first investigating team's examining the lunar samples
at Houston. Like everything that Cooper writes, it is very personal and
descriptive of meetings that he attended with the science team working
on the project. It is filled with interesting personality sketches and
anecdotes of the intense effort to provide the first scientific assessment
of the lunar samples.
_____. Thirteen: The Flight that Failed. New York: Dial Press,
1973. In this highly personalized and readable account, Cooper retells
the battle for survival of the Apollo 13 astronauts after the disabling
of the Service Module as a result of the bursting of one of its oxygen
tanks from an electrical malfunction.
Cortright, Edgar M. Editor. Apollo Expeditions to the Moon. Washington,
DC: NASA SP-350, 1975. This large-formatted volume, with numerous illustrations
in both color and black and white, contains essays by numerous luminaries
ranging from NASA Administrator James E. Webb ("A Perspective on Apollo")
to astronauts Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. ("'The Eagle Has
Landed'"). By no means a scholarly work, this collection consists rather
of the recollections of participants and one correspondent (Robert Sherrod).
Among the perspectives offered are those of Robert R. Gilruth on engineering,
Wernher von Braun on Saturn, George M. Low on the spaceships, Christopher
C. Kraft on Mission Control, Samuel C. Phillips on the shakedown cruises,
and George E. Mueller on "Getting It All Together."
El-Baz, Farouk. Astronaut Observations from the Apollo-Soyuz Mission.
Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1977. This volume consists
partly of text, partly of extensive photographs and maps of Earth taken
by astronauts on their training flights for the mission or taken on board
the spacecraft to support the Earth Observations and Photography Experiment
conducted during the mission. Another portion of the text consists of
verbal comments made by American astronauts regarding that experiment.
The remaining 122 pages of text consists of discussions of the scientific
objectives of the mission, astronaut training, flight planning, mission
operations, and a summary of the scientific findings of the mission in
the areas of geology, oceanography, hydrology, meteorology, and environmental
Freeman, Marsha. How We Got to the Moon: The Story of the German Space
Pioneers. Washington, DC: 21st Century Associates, 1993. The author
of this book tries to make the German emigrés who came to the United
States with Wernher von Braun in 1945 the central force behind the success
of Project Apollo. Freeman traces all spaceflight ideals and imagination
to a German cabal formed by Hermann Oberth in the first part of the twentieth
century and including Willy Ley and Wernher von Braun, among others, who
created the U.S. space program and the "glory" of Apollo. In so doing,
she concentrates on such ancillary stories as the development of the V-2
by von Braun's "rocket team" for Germany in World War II, totally ignoring
the contributions of other people and nations to the overall space effort.
French, Bevan M. Editor. The Moon Book: Exploring the Mysteries of
the Lunar World. New York: Penguin, 1977. This is an important multi-authored
study of the scientific research undertaken about the Moon using the data
from the Apollo programs.
Fries, Sylvia D. NASA Engineers and the Age of Apollo. Washington,
DC: NASA SP-4104, 1992. This book is a sociocultural analysis of a selection
of engineers at NASA who worked on Project Apollo. It analyzes the manner
in which different personalities, perspectives, backgrounds, and priorities
came together to inform the direction of NASA during the 1960s. The author
makes extensive use of oral history in this study, providing both a significant
appraisal of NASA during its "golden age" and important documentary material
for future explorations.
Furniss, Tim, "One Small Step"The Apollo Missions, the Astronauts,
the Aftermath: A Twenty Year Perspective. Somerset, England: G.T.
Foulis & Co., 1989. Developed as a retrospective celebration on the
twentieth anniversary of the lunar landing, this book tries to recreate
the exhilaration of the Apollo missions.
Goldstein, Stanley H. Reaching for the Stars: The Story of Astronaut
Training and the Lunar Landing. New York: Praeger, 1987. This is a
detailed account of the development and management of the astronaut training
program for Project Apollo.
Gray, Mike. Angle of Attack: Harrison Storms and the Race to the Moon.
New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1992. This is a lively journalistic account
of the career of Harrison Storms, president of the Aerospace Division
of North American Aviation that built the Apollo capsule. Because of the
Apollo 204 fire that killed three astronauts in January 1967, Storms and
North American Aviation got sucked into a controversy over accountability
and responsibility. In the aftermath Storms was removed from responsibility
for the project. The most important aspect of this book is its discussion
of the Apollo fire and responsibility for it from the perspective of industry.
It lays the blame at NASA's feet and argues that Storms and North American
were mere scapegoats. It, unfortunately, has no notes and the observations
offered cannot be verified.
Hallion, Richard P., and Crouch, Tom D. Editors. Apollo: Ten Years
Since Tranquility Base. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press,
1979. This is a collection of essays developed for the National Air and
Space Museum, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the first landing
on the Moon, July 20, 1969. It consists of sixteen essays, mostly written
directly for the National Air and Space Museum by a variety of experts,
that range from Roger E. Bilstein's overview titled "The Saturn Launch
Vehicle Family" to Kerry M. Joëls' "Apollo and the 'Two Cultures'."
Other contributions by such luminaries as John M. Logsdon, Frederick C.
Durant III, Farouk El-Baz, and Rocco A. Petrone, not to mention the two
editors, attempt to set the Apollo missions in historical perspective
and to explain such matters as operational support, the Command and Service
Modules, the Lunar Module, and the Apollo spacesuit. Dominick A. Pisano
has provided a selective bibliography at the conclusion of the volume.
Harford, James J. Korolev: How One Man Masterminded the Soviet Drive
to Beat America to the Moon. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997.
The first English-language biography of the Soviet "chief designer" who
directed the projects that were so successful in the late 1950s and early
1960s in energizing the Cold War rivalry for space supremacy.
Hechler, Ken. Toward the Endless Frontier: History of the Committee
on Science and Technology, 1959-1979. Washington, DC: U.S. House of
Representatives, 1980. Contains the best account to date of congressional
wrangling over Project Apollo, and demonstrates the bipartisan nature
of both Apollo support and opposition.
Heiken, Grant H., Vaniman, David T., and French, Bevan M. Editors. The
Lunar Sourcebook. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991. This
book's virtue is that it condenses into a usable form information from
the U.S. and Soviet missions to the Moon in a reference work. It explores
the formation and evolution of the Moon's surface, the chemical and mineralogical
nature of lunar rocks and soils, and the current state of scientific knowledge
about the nature, origin, and history of the Moon.
Heppenheimer, T.A. Countdown: The History of Space Exploration.
New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. A general audience history, somewhat
quirky but well written and entertaining.
Johnston, Richard S., Dietlein, Lawrence F., and Berry, Charles A. Editors.
Biomedical Results of Apollo. Washington, DC: NASA SP-368, 1975.
This straightforward volume ranges in its coverage from crew health and
in-flight monitoring to in-flight experiments on the Apollo missions with
a useful section on the technology used for such everyday concerns as
supplying astronauts with food, water, and waste management in space.
A useful section at the end sums up what life scientists learned from
Kauffman, James L. Selling Outer Space: Kennedy, the Media, and Funding
for Project Apollo, 1961-1963. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press,
1994. A straightforward history, but one that is quite helpful, of the
public image-building efforts of NASA and the relation of that image to
Kennan, Erlend A., and Harvey, Edmund H., Jr. Mission to the Moon:
A Critical Examination of NASA and the Space Program. New York: William
Morrow and Co., 1969. This book features a detailed examination of the
facts of the Apollo 204 fire in January 1967 that killed three astronauts.
It does not provide a balanced account of the lunar landing program or
NASA. Instead it is filled with critical asides. For example, the authors
conclude: "The real reasons for the [Apollo] tragedywere a lack
of perspective and flexibility within NASA management at all key levels;
inept, competing, or nonexistent channels of communication throughout
the organization's many facilities; lazy, sloppy, and unduly profit-motivated
contractor performance, myopic Congressional indulgence (often referred
to as 'moon-doggling'), irresponsible public relationsto the point
where NASA actually believe its own inflated propaganda; and finally,
a remarkable aloofness from and disdain for the legitimate interests of
the taxpaying American public." Unfortunately, the treatment is long on
hyperbole and short on reasoned analysis; the New York Times reviewer
said that the book "adds little that is new on any of the problems or
possible solutions....But perhaps the book's sense of outrage is in itself
an adequate reason for the book's existence."
King, Elbert A. Moon Trip: A Personal Account of the Apollo Program
and Its Science. Houston, TX: University of Houston, 1989. This short
memoir describes the scientific work on the lunar samples returned by
the Apollo missions. King, also a geologist and first curator of the returned
lunar samples, worked at the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston
as part of the in-house scientific group who planned for scientific lunar
exploration, astronaut training, and care and analysis of the returned
Lambright, W. Henry. Powering Apollo: James E. Webb of NASA. Baltimore,
MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995. An excellent biography of the
NASA administrator between 1961 and 1968, the critical period in which
Project Apollo was under way.
Launius, Roger D. NASA: A History of the U.S. Civil Space Program.
Melbourne, FL: Krieger Pub. Co., 1994. A short book in the Anvil Series,
this history of U.S. civilian space efforts consists half of narrative
and half of documents. It contains three chapters on the Apollo program,
but while coverage consists more of overview than detailed analysis, the
approach is broadly analytical and provides the most recent general treatment
of its topic.
Lay, Bierne. Earthbound Astronautics: The Builders of Apollo-Saturn.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1971. A popularly written discussion
of the government and industry team that built the hardware and managed
the Apollo program.
Levine, Alan J. The Missile and Space Race. New York: Praeger,
1994. A somewhat quirky work, this study presents some interesting perspectives
on the development of the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet
Union in space exploration.
Levine, Arnold S. Managing NASA in the Apollo Era. Washington,
DC: NASA SP-4102, 1982. A narrative account of NASA from its origins through
1969, this book analyzes key administrative decisions, contracting, personnel,
the budgetary process, headquarters organization, relations with the Department
of Defense, and long-range planning.
Levinson, A.A., and Taylor, S.R. Moon Rocks and Minerals. New York:
Pergamon Press, 1971. This evaluation of the important findings resulting
from the initial study of lunar rocks from Apollo 11 covers four general
topics: mineralogy and petrology, chemical and isotope analysis, bioscience
and organic geochemistry, and physical measurements and properties. The
book discusses the absence of organic matter in the lunar samples, rock
textures as compared with those on Earth, the importance of these samples
in revealing the history and origin of the Moon, and a variety of shock
studies to ascertain the results of impacts upon trace elements, the lunar
surface, radiation effects, and rare gases.
Lewis, Richard S. Appointment on the Moon: The Inside Story of America's
Space Adventure. New York: Viking, 1969. Perhaps the first book to
capitalize on the success of Apollo 11 in 1969, this history appeared
within days of the "splashdown."
_____. The Voyages of Apollo: The Exploration of the Moon. New
York: Quadrangle, 1974. This popularly written but not nontechnical account
covers the background to the Apollo mission seen as an exploration of
the Moon. It then discusses the changes in our perceptions of that heavenly
body as succeeding Apollo missions added to our knowledge. Without scholarly
apparatus, this is clearly a non-scientist's interpretation of lunar science,
but it presents an informed series of perspectives as of the time it was
Logsdon, John M., et al. Apollo in its Historical Context. Washington,
DC: The George Washington University Space Policy Institute, 1990. This
edited version of remarks presented at a 1989 symposium includes articles
by Logsdon on "Evaluating Apollo"; Walter A. McDougall on "Apollo and
Technocracy"; Daniel J. Boorstin on "The Rise of Public Discovery"; and
Frank White on "Apollo in a Millennial Perspective." It concludes with
a discussion based on questions from the audience at the symposium. Useful
for the perspectives offered by four eminent participants.
_____. The Decision to Go to the Moon: Project Apollo and the National
Interest. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1970. This book describes
in detail the political issue of how the United States decided to go to
the Moon in 1961. Logsdon pulls together most of the publicly available
data and commentary on the events surrounding President Kennedy's May
1961 announcement to commit the United States to an accelerated lunar
landing program. The author touts the decision-making to press Project
Apollo as the political process at its best. It was consensus-building
and consensus-maintaining, and finally accomplishment of the ideal.
_____. General Editor. Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in
the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program. 3 Vols. Washington, DC:
NASA SP-4407, 1995-1998. An essential reference work, these volumes print
more than 350 key documents in space policy and its development throughout
the twentieth century.
Lovell, Jim, and Kluger, Jeffrey. Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of
Apollo 13. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1994. After the 1995 film,
"Apollo 13," no astronaut had more fame than Jim Lovell, commander of
the ill-fated mission to the Moon in 1970. This book is his recollection
of the mission and the record on which the theatrical release was based.
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Apollo Program Summary Report.
Houston, TX: Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, 1975. This lengthy report
summarizes the principal activities during Apollo and provides references
for those seeking greater detail. It is divided into sections on the flight
program, science, vehicle development and performance, spacecraft development
testing, the flight crew, mission operations, biomedical matters, spacecraft
manufacturing and testing, launch facilities and operations, and the lunar
receiving laboratory, which initially quarantined astronaut crews and
handled lunar samples. Illustrations and appendices supplement the text.
This report certainly gives the most complete overview of the program
to be found anywhere and may be the best single place for researchers
new to Apollo to begin.
McDougall, Walter A. ...The Heavens and the Earth: A Political History
of the Space Age. New York: Basic Books, 1985. This Pulitzer Prize-winning
book analyzes the space race to the Moon in the 1960s. The author, then
teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, argues that Apollo
prompted the space program to stress engineering over science, competition
over cooperation, civilian over military management, and international
prestige over practical applications. While he recognizes Apollo as a
"magnificent achievement," he concludes that it was also enormously costly.
Emphasizing the effect of space upon American society, this history focuses
on the role of the state as a promoter of technological progress.
MacKinnon, Douglas, and Baldanza, Joseph. Footprints: The 12 Men Who
Walked on the Moon Reflect on their Flights, their Lives and the Future.
Washington, DC: Acropolis Books, 1989. An illustrated history, this book
tells in narrative and photographs the story of Project Apollo. It emphasizes
the stories of the astronauts, printing twelve interviews with those who
walked on the Moon. Unfortunately, the book fails on several levels. The
authors make no attempt to tie the interviews together, and the astronauts
provide no revealing insights. The lode of astronaut impressions was exhausted
long before this book was compiled.
Mailer, Norman. Of a Fire on the Moon. Boston: Little, Brown, 1970.
London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1970. New York: New American Library,
1971. One of the foremost contemporary American writers, Mailer was commissioned
to write about the first lunar landing. What appeared was this rather
confused and confusing account that is written as almost stream of consciousness
ruminations of spaceflight. It does provide some insights, most importantly
as Mailer with his 1960s countercultural mindset meets its antithesis,
a NASA steeped in middle class values and reverence for the American flag
and culture. Mailer was forced, grudgingly, to admit that NASA's approach
to task accomplishmentwhich he sees as the embodiment of the Protestant
Work Ethicand its technological and scientific capability got results
with Apollo. He rails at NASA's closed and austere society, one in which
he says outsiders are distrusted and held at arm's length with a bland
and faceless courtesy that betrays nothing. For all of its skepticism,
for all of its esotericism, the book captures some interesting insights
into rocket technology and the people who produced it in Project Apollo,
but it is heavy going to extract them from this dense book.
Mansfield, John M. Man on the Moon. New York: Stein and Day, 1969.
Written by a BBC television producer, this book begins with ancient conceptions
of the Moon and continues with theoretical foundations for the space age
in the works of science fiction authors and theoreticians. The book's
capstone is a discussion of NASA and Project Apollo.
Mason, Brian, and Melson, William G. The Lunar Rocks. New York:
Wiley Interscience, 1970. This book is a scientific assessment of the
data gained from analysis of the lunar samples returned by Apollo 11.
Masursky, Harold, Colton, G.W., and El-Baz, Farouk. Apollo Over the
Moon: A View from Orbit. Washington, DC: NASA SP-362, 1978. This is
an excellent encapsulation of the Apollo program with striking photography.
A large-formatted book, it contains an introduction discussing the objectives,
methods, and results of Apollo lunar photography. It follows this with
discussions of the regions of the Moon and explanations of individual
photographs. Contains a glossary and bibliography.
Murray, Charles A., and Cox, Catherine Bly. Apollo, the Race to the
Moon. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989. Perhaps the best general
account of the lunar program, this history uses interviews and documents
to reconstruct the stories of the people who participated in Apollo.
Newman, Joseph. U.S. on the Moon. Washington, DC: U.S. News and
World Report Inc., 1969. This popular account of the Apollo program through
Apollo 11, with coverage of its background and of the race with the Soviets,
provides a fair summation in understandable language of what was known
at the time.
Ordway, Frederick Ira, III, and Sharpe, Mitchell R. Foreword by Wernher
von Braun. The Rocket Team. New York: Crowell, 1979. This is an
important, popularly oriented, and somewhat apologetic discussion of the
activities of the group of German engineers under the leadership of Wernher
von Braun who developed the V-2 in World War II, came to the United States
in 1945, and worked at the Marshall Space Flight Center at Huntsville,
Alabama, to develop the Saturn V launch vehicle used in Project Apollo.
_____, Adams, Carsbie C., and Sharpe, Mitchell R. Dividends from Space.
New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1972. This is an attempt to show that the
costs of the space program have been more than returned in benefits to
humanity, both tangible and intangible. The authors discuss at length
the use of space systems to improve weather forecasting, facilitate communications,
and inventory Earth resources. They also emphasize the development of
the technological base with such major programs as Project Apollo.
Pellegrino, Charles R., and Stoff, Joshua. Chariots for Apollo: The
Making of the Lunar Module. New York: Atheneum, 1985. A popular and
not always accurate discussion of the development of the Lunar Module
by the Grumman Aerospace Corporation.
Pitts, John A. The Human Factor: Biomedicine in the Manned Space Program
to 1980. Washington, DC: NASA SP-4213, 1985. This account traces the
history of space medicine from its early days before the founding of NASA
through the decade following the Apollo program. It covers the beginnings
of NASA's small life sciences program during Project Mercury, the struggles
between NASA and the Air Force for funding of life science research, biomedicine
during the Gemini and Apollo programs, the crisis that followed the Apollo
204 fire in January 1967, the biomedical results from Apollo, and the
various reorganizations of the life sciences program in NASA that accompanied
its evolution. It concludes with a look ahead to the Shuttle era that
began in the 1980s.
Rabinowitch, Eugene, and Lewis, Richard S. Editors. Man on the Moon:
The Impact on Science, Technology, and International Cooperation.
New York: Basic Books, 1969. The editors have assembled articles that
provide a range of views on the impact of the exploration of space on
science, technology, and international cooperation. Each author approaches
the subject from a particular perspective, speculating on the meaning
of the Apollo lunar landing and offering prognostications for the future.
Ryan, Peter. Invasion of the Moon, 1969: The Story of Apollo 11.
Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1969. This book capitalizes on the excitement
of the first Apollo landing, proving a recitation of the expedition for
a popular audience.
Sparks, James C. Moon Landing, Project Apollo. New York: Dodd,
Mead, 1970. Another popular history, this book traces each step of the
Apollo 11 flight, from the development of the "hardware" to splashdown,
and analyzes the importance of this mission and future space exploration.
Thomas, Davis. Editor. Moon: Man's Greatest Adventure. New York:
H.N. Abrams, 1970. A large-format, illustrated work, the centerpiece of
this book are three major essays. One, by Fred A. Whipple, Harvard University
astronomer, describes the possibilities of spaceflight for scientific
inquiry. Another by Silvio A. Bedini, Smithsonian Institution, deals with
the Moon's role in human affairs. A final article by Wernher von Braun
of NASA analyzes Project Apollo and its execution in the 1960s.
Van Dyke, Vernon. Pride and Power: The Rationale of the Space Program.
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1964. This analysis of the overall
rationale of the Apollo program came to the conclusion that the "most
powerful motives" behind it involved competition with the Soviet Union.
"Motives such as the promotion of scientific, technological, and economic
progress" were "less compelling in political circles," though elsewhere
one or the other of them may have been more central. Although mostly about
these motivations, this carefully researched book by an academic also
discusses organizational arrangements; relations among NASA, the business
world, and universities; international cooperation; and NASA's public
information programs. Although his research is certainly dated, Van Dyke's
conclusions hold up surprisingly well after the passage of thirty years.
von Braun, Wernher. First Men to the Moon. New York: Holt, Rinehart
and Winston, 1966. A popular account of Apollo based of a series of articles
appearing in This Week magazine. Its greatest strength is the inclusion
of easily understood diagrams of scientific phenomena and hardware.
Wilford, John Noble. We Reach the Moon: The New York Times Story of
Man's Greatest Adventure. New York: Bantam Books, 1969. One of the
earliest of the journalistic accounts to appear at the time of Apollo
11, a key feature of this general and journeyman but not distinguished
history is a 64-page color insert with photographs of the mission. It
was prepared by the science writer of the New York Times using
his past articles.
Wilhelms, Don E. To a Rocky Moon: A Geologist's History of Lunar Exploration.
Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1993. This lengthy and detailed account
of lunar exploration and science strikes a balance between personal memoir
and history. As history it provides a detailed and contextual account
of lunar geology during the 1960s and 1970s, and a less-detailed but informative
account for the rest of the century. As memoir it provides an engaging
story of the scientific exploration of the Moon as seen by one of the
field's more important behind-the-scenes scientists.
Young, Hugo, Silcock, Bryan, and Dunn, Peter. Journey to Tranquillity:
The History of Man's Assault on the Moon. Garden City, NY: Doubleday,
1970. A ponderous "anti-Apollo" broadside, this book seeks to cast aspersions
on the entire space program. Handled deftly by investigative journalists
who are writing an exposé, the first chapter sets the stage by
characterizing Wernher von Braun as a self-righteous traitor and John
F. Kennedy as an adolescent exhibitionist. They then describe a conspiracy
of bureaucrats, industrialists, and politicians who promote space as a
means of feathering their own nests. The authors used the Apollo fire
that killed three astronauts as the evidence that "proves" the dishonesty
and criminal behavior of NASA and other space advocates. The authors were
journalists with the London Sunday Times and they provided a fast-paced
if highly critical analysis of Project Apollo.
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