Author: Robert Kurson
The riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind's historic first mission to the Moon, from the bestselling author of Shadow Divers. "Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy."—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian and Artemis
By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy's end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas.
Fantastic! As an extremely avid follower of the space program throughout the 1960's and 70's, I recall every detail of the mission. This book provided the inside perspective to match my experience and recollection.
Apollo 11, the first moon landing mission, has subsequently taken the place in our collective memory as the most important Apollo mission. However, this book helps place the importance of this mission—Apollo 8—in the correct context as possibly the most risky and critical of all the Apollo missions.
I also can recall just how emotional it was in December of 1968 after such a tumultuous year—Vietnam Tet offensive, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, riots in the streets. The success of the mission and the sense of wonder seeing the Earth from a distance by human eyes for the first time rescued the year. This was the mission that created an emotional sense of wonder, adventure and exploration in me.
The book was such a fanatic way to learn more and re-discover those feelings.