Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Celebrating Apollo40

In just under a month it will be the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, when Neil Armstrong became the first human being to step foot on Earth's satellite. NASA will be celebrating the event and have all ready put together a web site. No doubt there will be other celebrations scattered across the Internet, and even in Real Life too - such as Buzz Aldrin's rap, 'Rocket Experience', here.

And I'll be having my own little celebration on this blog too. No hiphop, happily. Just a bunch of reviews of books about Apollo 11 and the three astronauts who crewed it - Neil Alden Armstrong, Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr and Michael Collins.

But until then, I thought it might prove interesting to pimp some of the books being published for Apollo40. Some of them I might buy - and so will subsequently be reviewed here at some point - but not all of them.

The Apollo 11 Moon Landing: A Photographic Retrospective, by Dennis R Jenkins & Jorge R Frank (Speciality Press)

Moonfire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11, by Norman Mailer (Taschen)

Voices from the Moon, by Andrew Chaikin (Viking Press)

Moon 3-D, by Jim Bell (Sterling)

Apollo: Through the Eyes of the Astronauts, by Robert Jacobs (Harry N Abrams)

One Giant Leap: Apollo 11 Forty Years on, by Piers Bizony (Aurum Press)

Apollo 11 Owner's Workshop Manual, by Christopher Riley & Phil Dolling (Haynes)

Missions to the Moon, by Rod Pyle (Sterling)

T-Minus: The Race to the Moon, by Jim Ottaviani, Zander Cannon & Kevin Cannon (Aladdin)

The Soaring Achievements of John C Houbolt, by Robert E Sterling (CreateSpace)

Saturn V / Apollo Lunar Orbit Rendezvous, edited by Robert Godwin (Apogee Books)

Lunar Module Familiarization Guide, edited by Robert Godwin (Apogee Books)

I know very little about any of the books above. Moonfire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11 looks like it might be very good, but unfortunately it's priced at £599.99! T-Minus: The Race to the Moon is a graphic novel and looks really interesting. Speciality Press, er, specialise in aviation books - such as the very good Magnesium Overcast on the B-36, Hypersonic on the X-15, Valkyrie on the XB-70 and the Warbird Tech series, among others. Both Chaikin and Bizony are excellent writers on space-related matters. The book on Houbolt is self-published via Amazon's CreateSpace, but the subject is relevant so I included it.

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