By Craig Nelson
The real-life journey into the unknown
On 20 July 1969, man set foot on the moon. Motivated by politics, faith, science and wonder, the Apollo 11 mission was the greatest technical achievement of all time. It was the culmination of over a decade's worth of money and effort from more than 400,000 staff and crew.
Rocket Men follows the astounding story of the lunar project, beginning at its inception at the start of the Cold War and tracing it through to its finest hour with the first moon landing and the astronauts' safe return. Through extensive interviews with astronauts, NASA staff and their families and never-before published documents, Craig Nelson presents an awe-inspiring human account of the voyage that changed the course of history. He takes us behind the scenes at Mission Control to describe every detail of the mission, from the astronauts' moon excursion suits, which had five hundred parts and weighed no less than fifty pounds, to terrifying revelations, such as how Armstrong and Aldrin could have been left stranded on the moon when a vital switch snapped on the landing craft.
Rocket Men is the inside story of one of the most perilous and rewarding undertakings in history.
Craig Nelson is the author of The First Heroes and Thomas Paine, which won the 2007 Henry Adams Prize for the year's best book on history and government. His writing has appeared in many publications and he has been profiled in Variety, Interview, Publishers Weekly and Time Out. He lives in Greenwich Village, New York.
- Other details
- Publication date:
04 Feb 2010
- Page count:
'I was there, kneeling, unable to breathe, before a television screen, watching Armstrong step off Eagle onto the regolith. I read [Rocket Men] in the same mood of boyhood wonder. So should you' — Sunday Times
'Rocket Men is particularly good at unpicking the tangle of motives behind kennedy's decision to send a man to the moon ... A punchy, popular history ... gripping, geekily detailed accounts of what it was like to ride a Saturn V or walk on another planet are interspersed with an equally lively take on the cold war strategising behind the mission' — Financial Times
'Anyone with an ounce of poetry in their soul would have to concede that reaching the moon really was a giant leap for mankind. For the sheer drama, majesty and improbability of it all, it's a story that will be told time and time again. But rarely as well as this' — The Sunday Business Post
'Spectacular' — Vanity Fair
'With Nelson's impeccable research, his ability to tie the myriad strings of the space race into a coherent whole and the power of the story itself, Rocket Men should be at the top of your book list' — New Scientist
'Rocket Men is a masterful account of one of the most daring exploits in human civilisation.' — The Irish Examiner (Eire)
'Craig Nelson tells the tale in a way that seizes the spirit of the age' — London Review of Books
'As good an introduction as any to mankind's greatest adventure' — BBC History Magazine