Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Apollo Moon Landings

Open Road Media
34
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A revised edition of the New York Times bestselling classic: the epic story of the golden years of American space exploration, told by the men who rode the rockets
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, and the space race was born. Desperate to beat the Russians into space, NASA put together a crew of the nation’s most daring test pilots: the seven men who were to lead America to the moon. The first into space was Alan Shepard; the last was Deke Slayton, whose irregular heartbeat kept him grounded until 1975. They spent the 1960s at the forefront of NASA’s effort to conquer space, and Moon Shot is their inside account of what many call the twentieth century’s greatest feat—landing humans on another world. Collaborating with NBC’s veteran space reporter Jay Barbree, Shepard and Slayton narrate in gripping detail the story of America’s space exploration from the time of Shepard’s first flight until he and eleven others had walked on the moon.
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About the author

As one of the original seven Mercury astronauts, Alan Shepard (1923–1998) became the first American in space on May 5, 1961, and a decade later took, with his partner Edgar Mitchell, the longest walk—two miles—on the moon before hitting a golf ball for miles and miles across the lunar landscape. Another Mercury astronaut, Deke Slayton (1924–1993) was meant to be the second American in Earth orbit, but was grounded because of an irregular heartbeat. He stayed on at NASA to supervise his fellow astronauts and was returned to flight status in 1972.  In 1975, after sixteen years as head of the astronaut office, Slayton made it into space for the historic first docking of an American and a Russian spacecraft, a step that was a long stride on the road to end the Cold War. Jay Barbree (b. 1933) is the author of eight books and has been NBC’s space correspondent since the birth of NASA. He shared an Emmy Award for NBC’s coverage of Apollo 11’s first landing on the moon, and is a recipient of NASA’s highest medal for Exceptional Public Service.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
May 3, 2011
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Pages
398
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ISBN
9781453211922
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Expeditions & Discoveries
Science / Space Science
Technology & Engineering / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Much has been written about Neil Armstrong, America's modern hero and history's most famous space traveler. Yet shy of fame and never one to steal the spotlight Armstrong was always reluctant to discuss his personal side of events. Here for the first time is the definitive story of Neil's life of flight he shared for five decades with a trusted friend – Jay Barbree.

Working from 50 years of conversations he had with Neil, from notes, interviews, NASA spaceflight transcripts, and remembrances of those Armstrong trusted, Barbree writes about Neil's three passions – flight, family, and friends. This is the inside story of Neil Armstrong from the time he flew combat missions in the Korean War and then flew a rocket plane called the X-15 to the edge of space, to when he saved his Gemini 8 by flying the first emergency return from Earth orbit and then flew Apollo-Eleven to the moon's Sea of Tranquility.

Together Neil and Jay discussed everything, from his love of flying, to the war years, and of course his time in space. The book is full of never-before-seen photos and personal details written down for the first time, including what Armstrong really felt when he took that first step on the moon, what life in NASA was like, his relationships with the other astronauts, and what he felt the future of space exploration should be.

As the only reporter to have covered all 166 American astronaut flights and moon landings Jay knows these events intimately. Neil Armstrong himself said, "Barbree is history's most experienced space journalist. He is exceptionally well qualified to recall and write the events and emotions of our time." Through his friendship with Neil and his dedicated research, Barbree brings us the most accurate account of his friend's life of flight, the book he planned for twenty years.

Forty years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second human, minutes after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on a celestial body other than the Earth. The event remains one of mankind’s greatest achievements and was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history. In the years since, millions more have had their Earth-centric perspective unalterably changed by the iconic photograph of Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon, the blackness of space behind him and his fellow explorer and the Eagle reflected in his visor. Describing the alien world he was walking upon, he uttered the words “magnificent desolation.” And as the astronauts later sat in the Eagle, waiting to begin their journey back home, knowing that they were doomed unless every system and part on board worked flawlessly, it was Aldrin who responded to Mission Control’s clearance to take off with the quip, “Roger. Understand. We’re number one on the runway.”

The flight of Apollo 11 made Aldrin one of the most famous persons on our planet, yet few people know the rest of this true American hero’s story. In Magnificent Desolation, Aldrin not only gives us a harrowing first-person account of the lunar landing that came within seconds of failure and the ultimate insider’s view of life as one of the superstars of America’s space program, he also opens up with remarkable candor about his more personal trials–and eventual triumphs–back on Earth. From the glory of being part of the mission that fulfilled President Kennedy’s challenge to reach the moon before the decade was out, Aldrin returned home to an Air Force career stripped of purpose or direction, other than as a public relations tool that NASA put to relentless use in a seemingly nonstop world tour. The twin demons of depression and alcoholism emerged–the first of which Aldrin confronted early and publicly, and the second of which he met with denial until it nearly killed him. He burned through two marriages, his Air Force career came to an inglorious end, and he found himself selling cars for a living when he wasn’t drunkenly wrecking them. Redemption came when he finally embraced sobriety, gained the love of a woman, Lois, who would become the great joy of his life, and dedicated himself to being a tireless advocate for the future of space exploration–not only as a scientific endeavor but also as a thriving commercial enterprise.

These days Buzz Aldrin is enjoying life with an enthusiasm that reminds us how far it is possible for a person to travel, literally and figuratively. As an adventure story, a searing memoir of self-destruction and self-renewal, and as a visionary rallying cry to once again set our course for Mars and beyond, Magnificent Desolation is the thoroughly human story of a genuine hero.


From the Hardcover edition.
This title was first published in 2002: In the topsy-turvy 1580s and 1590s, as the episodic Anglo-Spanish war became the greatest threat to "English" security since circa 1066, Marlowe rose up in the London theatres like some Phaeton of the entertainment industry, taking war itself as a central subject of his art. This book reads his plays - especially "Tamburlaine", "Edward II", "The Massacre at Paris", and "Doctor Faustus" - as part of a bright new conversation then taking place in London about the nature of state security and martial law, the decorum of playing "the soldier" on stage, the rhetoric of warfever, and the necessity for draconian prescriptions about English manhood. Those public conversations, spilling out of Whitehall, the church pulpits, and the pubs, took center stage during the few years the playwright worked in London. Shepard argues that the Marlowe plays wrestle with the philosophical assumptions about the nature of war and the role and status of soldiers in English culture that were being embedded in those years in contemporary military handbooks penned by veterans of war, in homilies, royal proclamations, poems, pamphlets, and other plays, Shakespeare's included. Drawing on early modern theories and uses of classical rhetoric, stage history, queer theory, historicist strategies and even magical realism, "Marlowe's Soldiers" investigates how and why Marlowe's plays make entertainment of a wealth of historically and geopolitically divergent fantasies about martial law and its discontents.
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