Sunday, 11 May 2008

Apollo Spacecraft News Reference (NAA Command/Service Module)

The News Reference books (there is also one for the Lunar Module) were produced by NASA in the 1960s. They are much sought after by collectors of space memorabilia. In 2006, Apogee Books published facsimile editions, available only from their web site.

This book deals only with the Apollo CSM, and features detailed descriptions of every aspect of it - from construction through to operation. It is copiously illustrated, with artists' renderings and diagrams. There is, for example, a map of the instrument panels in the Command Module, with a description outlining the function of each switch, dial, or readout. Diagrams also explain the workings of various systems, such as the fuel cell system, the reaction control system, the oxygen system.

In fact, there is so much detail in the News Reference, you have to wonder exactly who it was written for. I wouldn't have thought the general press would use a fraction of the book's contents. For anyone interested in, or writing specifically about, the Apollo project, however, it's an invaluable reference book. Recommended.

Apollo Spacecraft News Reference (NAA Command/Service Module) (2006, Apogee Books, ISBN 1-894959-49-9, 104 pp + appendices)

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