Apollo 8 by Jeffrey Kluger

Apollo 8 by Jeffrey KlugerApollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger
on January 1st 1970
Genres: History, Technology
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads

In August 1968, one short year after three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, NASA decided that it would launch humankind’s first flight to the moon. Sixteen weeks later, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were aboard the first manned spacecraft to depart Earth’s orbit, reach the moon, and return safely to Earth, delivering a tear-inducing Christmas Eve message along the way.

Apollo 8 is the story of one of the early manned space missions, the first which broke the bonds of Earth and took the first trip around the moon ever undertaken by a human being. But it is so much more than that – following the lives of the men and their families throughout the space exploration program, as they led up to the momentous journey which has been somewhat overshadowed by later Apollo missions.

For me there has always been something of a mystique about the idea of being an astronaut, and the idea of walking on the moon. From the outside it is easy to lionise these men for their achievements, without getting an up close and personal look inside the space capsule. Sure movies like Apollo 13 have helped to bring a personal perspective to the scene, although undoubtedly there is likely to be some artistic licence involved.

Apollo 8 brought a very holistic approach to the story, tracing not just the lives of the three astronauts who made the journey, but the stories of the people on the ground who were supporting them – both in NASA and from their homes. I thought the author did an excellent job of drawing these intertwining stories together, and painting a very cohesive story, without losing focus on the central story of the mission itself.

Apollo 8 is a very engagingly written book, that will appeal to fans of history and space exploration in equal parts. There is enough technical detail in here to interest nerds, and enough humanity to interest everyone else. It was one of those books that I did not know I needed to read until I had actually read it. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the space program from what felt like the inside.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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