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Before This Decade Is Out .": Personal Reflections on the Apollo Program (The NASA History Series)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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ISBN 10: 1499181477 / ISBN 13: 9781499181470
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Title: Before This Decade Is Out .": Personal ...

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: 2014

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

About this title


As the 20th century ends and we approach the beginning of a new millennium, future generations will look back and recall the leaving of our home planet as a defining moment in the history of humankind. The story of Apollo has been told and retold many times by those fortunate enough to have experienced space travel first-hand--the astronauts themselves. Those who managed to leave the cradle of the Earth and walk upon the surface of the Moon offer a unique perspective shared firsthand by only a handful of people chosen to represent humankind in the culmination of this great adventure. As we reflect on the 30th anniversary of Apollo's first landing, we should not overlook other accounts of this monumental achievement as offered by those representing the half a million people associated with the program. During the 1960s, these people joined in a national effort to bring to completion President John E Kennedy's vision of landing Americans on the Moon and returning them safely to Earth before the end of the decade. For a project as massive as the Apollo program, history may distance itself to the extent where modern interpretation distills a feeling that such events took place without extensive human involvement. Nothing could be further removed from the truth. Through the verbal accounts offered by the oral histories such as presented in this volume, we are reintroduced to the critical human factor which is the essence of any history. People made Apollo happen and it is important to preserve their thoughts, feelings, and recollections for future generations. The oral histories presented in this volume offer a sample of what NASA has done to preserve the story of Apollo as part of our nation's human spaceflight heritage. The accounts included in this book are a small sampling of the large number of oral histories that have been conducted under the auspices of the NASA history program, since near the beginning of the Agency. They also represent the many personal contributions made during Project Apollo, the single largest peacetime endeavor in American history. These recollections span the origins, management, and completion of that enormous effort and measurably enhance our appreciation of its difficulty. Some of the key individuals involved in Project Apollo are being preserved by NASA and made available through this book.

Book Description:

Winner of the 1999 Pendleton Prize

This significant collection of oral histories of the Saturn/Apollo program recounts the unique adventure of the lunar landing program as witnessed by some of the political leaders, engineers, scientists, and astronauts who made it such a success. It includes recollections from James Webb, the NASA administrator whose political connections in Washington extended back to the New Deal of the 1930s; rocket pioneer and architect of the Saturn V rocket Wernher von Braun; the resolute Robert Gilruth, director of the Houston center; the engineering iconoclast Maxime Faget, whose designs of spacecraft made flights to the moon possible; and astronauts such as Harrison Schmitt and Charles Duke.

These reflections on this unique time, place, and accomplishment are a must read for any student of space history and Project Apollo. The foreword by Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., former director of NASA's Johnson Space Center, introduces this extraordinary first chapter in America's space history.

Glen E. Swanson is a historian at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

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