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Apollo 8 : the thrilling story of the first mission to the Moon
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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.Apollo 8 takes us from Mission Control to the astronaut's homes, and the race to prepare an untested rocket for an unprecedented journey paves the way for the hair-raising trip to the moon. 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.
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We know the basics: Apollo 8 was the second manned space mission of NASA's Apollo program and the first space mission in history to orbit the Moon and come back home safely. Kluger, a veteran science writer (and, not incidentally, coauthor of the acclaimed Lost Moon (1994), which became the movie Apollo 13), fills in the details. He focuses on the people who made the Apollo 8 mission happen as much as he focuses on the actual drama of space flight; the lead-up to the mission the selection of the astronauts, the testing of the equipment, the training is just as compelling as the flight itself (which takes up only a relatively small portion of the book). Comprehensively detailed, and written with the sure hand of someone who knows his material inside out, the book is guaranteed to be a hit with armchair astronauts, space-program veterans, and all readers in between.--Pitt, David Copyright 2017 Booklist
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