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Thank you! Ever since that day, Jul. For example, astronaut Buzz Aldrin was initially slotted to step first to the surface, but mission commander Armstrong exercised the privilege of rank. The result, the author calculates, negatively affected Aldrin for years afterward. Nelson capably decodes it as the tale unfolds. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again.
MORE BY CRAIG NELSON
Two books covering two signal events of the twentieth century were published in the past year, books that had one thing in common: both received glowing reviews in the mainstream press as well as in the publishing and library trade press. But upon further examination by knowledgeable readers, both were found to be error-riddled failed attempts at history. That both books turned out to be fatally flawed raises serious questions about how the publishing industry vets manuscripts and, perhaps, even more seriously, raises the question of what has gone wrong with the process of book reviewing. The trouble starts on page one, where Nelson repeats the urban legend that the VAB is so big that it needs a huge air conditioning system or otherwise clouds would form inside and it would rain. Perhaps the reader can give that one a pass, it being more of a tall tale than a misrepresentation of fact. The famous X-plane flew a total of one hundred ninety nine times with a typical flight lasting nine or ten minutes. Do the math, and the only way that claim works out is if Armstrong lived in the thing.
I have to admit, that was my first thought when a friend offered me his copy of Rocket Men. Likewise, many of the unsung heroes — technicians, programmers and mission controllers — have their part revealed in a way that will keep the reader turning pages, even though you know the outcome! Along the way, you will also spend a bit of time with Copernicus and Galileo, Tsiolkovsky and Goddard. Nelson has captured the essence of many of the astronauts, besides the Apollo 11 crew Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins , to help him reconstruct this very magical moment in time. His recreation of the Apollo 1 fire brought my emotions to a high state as did the final moments of the lunar landing itself. Towards the latter part of the book, the impact of the mission on the professional and personal lives of these three men are brought into focus. These are profound and will force the reader to examine their own feelings on the subject.