What began as one small step for [a] man, is now one giant leap through half a century of the calendar of human history, as we commemorate the first landing on the moon, July 20, 1969.
With the anniversary comes books and other resources highlighting the landing, the astronauts, and the space race—which was an echo of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. After some early experiments in space, President Kennedy in 1961 set the mission for the nation, to land a person on the moon by the end of the sixties. This story had it all, great characters, drama, heroes and villains, pathos and tragedy, and finally triumph. Also, microwaves, Teflon, and the never ending development of technology that came about as offshoots of the space missions during that half century.
Some of the newer titles out for the anniversary year include the books American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley, Apollo’s Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings by Roger Launius, and One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon by Charles Fishman.
Among the older titles are Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon by Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton, Failure Is Not An Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond by Gene Kranz, Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys by Michael Collins, Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth, and the photography book Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon.
The era is a hallmark of a past time, before commercial space purposes, and before having many nations in space. Exploring to the moon seemed noble and worthy of heroic effort and national purpose in a way that may now seem quaint. The resources on the list inform us of a time when this exploration was daring, exciting, and worth the adventure.
~posted by Carl K.