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A Man On The Moon: The Voyages Of The Apollo Astronauts

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  3,866 Ratings  ·  263 Reviews
Chaikin is the only person to interview all 12 moonwalkers and get their personal feelings about everything from astronaut & crew selection, training, peer relations and best of all; orbiting and walking the moon. This is not a technical or scientific history, but an account of how the astronauts FELT about their entire Apollo experiences. You can easily "walk in their ...more
Published January 5th 1995 by Penguin (first published January 1st 1994)
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Erik Tomlinson The author's biography says the 2007 edition has an afterword for the "50th anniversay of the space age" or somesuch. So - there's a new afterword.
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Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: space
The Apollo project was the culmination of the Soviet-American space race, the magnificently mad endeavor with no purpose other than national prestige, a twentieth century equivalent of the Great Sphinx of Giza. The Soviets were the first to orbit a satellite around the Earth, to orbit a man, and to land a probe on the Moon, Venus and Mars. Yet the Americans landed a man on the Moon, which the Soviets tried and failed to do. The project used machines more complicated than a Yamato class battleshi ...more
Mar 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a believer in the conspiracy theory of the moon landings. There were just too many people involved, and that many people simply can't be counted upon to keep their mouths shut for all these years.

Perhaps I am a little biased, though. As an expatriate Yankee, one who is shamed and saddened by much of what my country has done, the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions are one of the few things my country did in the Twentieth Century (and so far in the Twenty-First) for which I am actually p
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review was written in the late nineties (just for myself), and it was buried in amongst my things until today, when I uncovered the journal it was written in. I have transcribed it verbatim from all those years ago (although square brackets indicate some additional information for the sake of readability). It is one of my lost reviews.

What a personally powerful book. A Man on the Moon is such a wonderful reminder of what we are capable of as a species and what wonderful things we can accomp
Dude, totally amazing.

Okay, so, I've owned this book for at least five years now and I kept putting off reading it because I've read a bunch of books about NASA before and also because...I mean, it's really big. When's the last time you read a nonfiction book that is 720 pages long?!? Holy shit! I mainly read YA and graphic novels these days, so it was kind of intimidating. But anyway, I think there was recently some deal where I got it for $5 on audible and I figured I'd put it off long enough
Marceline Smith
I got this for Christmas and it was all I could do not to sit sit down and read the whole thing from cover to cover, enormous though it is. I’ve been a space nut since I was very small (wait, I am still very small) and this book is just a joy. It describes NASA’s Apollo program in great detail, going through each mission from the disastrous beginnings through to the six Moon landings. While sometimes bogged down by technical language and military customs, it does a great job of explaining how it ...more
Steve Mitchell
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the true story of what was – arguably – the greatest technological and engineering achievement of the twentieth century. (No less a commentator that Arthur C. Clarke said that the moon landings will be the defining moment of our age that will be remembered in a thousand years time!) Anybody that doubts the genuine significance of the moon landings upon our understanding of the formation of the solar system and how the universe works should read this book. If you are one of those people t ...more
Jonathan Deaux
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the "go to" book for nearly all things related to the Apollo Program for the average person interested in one of the greatest achievements of human history and the faces that made the trip. If you can only afford one book about Apollo, this is it. One reviewer seems to think that there may not be enough actual "political background" and "engineering" involved with this account. I read aviation and engineering books more often than not and this is not a book on the in depth engineering in ...more
Just A. Bean
If you want to know about the astronauts of the Apollo Program, this is the best book I've read. It really digs into their lives and what it was like to work in space in that period. The book is funny and interesting, and covers a lot of the technical challenges, the training, and how the crews worked together.

It does not try to cover any other aspect of the Apollo Program. Mission Control is mentioned as a place that exists, but mostly in so far as the astronauts interact with it. An engineerin
John Behle
The moon landings and those joyous lunar walks (later they brought along a car) will always make a superb story. The science, the passion, the skills involved are a pinnacle of human achievement. Add the feelings extracted from days of interviews with not just the astronauts, but the engineers, the geologists, wives (current and ex) and the resulting souffle of a work is fine listening (I enjoyed the 19 CD package) indeed. The clarion timbre of Bronson Pinchot holds true throughout.

Andrew Chaiki
Paul Anheier
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spanning the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, Chaikin managed to scratch pretty much all my space exploration itches in one book. It has triumph, tragedy, lots of science, and a behind-the-scenes look at the tens of thousands of people that helped propel the astronauts to the moon and back. Though the coverage is undoubtedly skewed towards the astronauts, it's hard to come away from this book without a deeper appreciation for the expansive national resources involved in these programs.

Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually finished this about a week ago, but have been wanting to find the time to give it the glowing detailed review it deserves. Looks like that's not going to happen, so i better just get it out here and simply say: THIS IS GREAT.

It's what the HBO Series "From the Earth to the Moon" was based on. It's what the actors read when preparing for Apollo 13. It's simply a thorough, engagingly written overview of the whole Apollo program. as someone who missed the tv & film renditions of this
Alex Templeton
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rewatched Apollo 13 for the however-many time earlier this summer, and was reminded of just how incredible all things moon exploration were. I wanted to read a book that would give me a history of the Apollo program and some explanation of how all the science worked. This was the perfect book, and a fantastic read. Chaikin clearly conducted tons of interviews and research to write it, and his narratives of each Apollo mission make the reader go on the adventures right along with the astronauts ...more
Michael Dorosh
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book; Chaikin weaves myth and fact into a readable story of the odyssey of the Apollo astronauts, laying bare the foibles of the astronauts as plainly as their bravery. Not hidden is the technical brilliance of the support teams in Mission Control or the scope of the effort that put them into space, encompassing thousands of people in cottage industries across the nation, though the focus is firmly on the astronauts and the trouble shooters at the consoles rather than the workers on th ...more
Andreas Kwiatkowski
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A comprehensive biographical collection of many important people involved in the Apollo program and their unique careers and stories—while primarily focussing on the astronauts and a bit on their spouses and families, less than on the many driven contributors behind the scenes of this epic endeavor.
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Thorough to a fault but a fascinating examination of the last Apollo missions when most of us were no longer paying attention. The personalities are intriguing and the dialogue of the astronauts was immensely entertaining and interesting.

If you're an American space exploration fan it's a must read.
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in preparation for our trip to Florida to meet the Apollo Astronauts and I'm so glad I did! The book was written to where you couldn't put it down - I hadn't thought much of the space program being the age I am, but now I see why these men are such heros.
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genscience
Brought back very powerful memories for me. I was riveted to the TV during all the Apollo landings. I also purchased the multi-disk DVD program that is based on the book. Great stuff!
Derek Collett
This is a very clear, detailed and comprehensive account of the Apollo programme, beginning with President Kennedy's 1961 Rice University speech in which he pledged to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and ending with Apollo 17, the last of the moon missions. It is the astronauts' story, in the sense that everything is seen through their eyes and ears, although, curiously to my mind, Chaikin hardly ever quotes from them, despite evidently having conducted many hours of interviews. I ...more
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the "extended edition bluray/dvd/3d with commentary" of the iconic videos of Apollo astronauts touching ground on the Moon. It's very detailed, but don't be scared off by that aspect. Andrew Chaikin's research is very enjoyable to read and it's cool to finally understand the astro-babble you hear on the background when "the Eagle has landed" or "translunar injection" or what not.

It's also amazing how something as futuristic as walking on the Moon could be so far in the past. There's hope
Maarten Koller
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
[Audiobook] Wow, this was 23 hours of awesome! Brilliantly read by Bronson Pinchot the detail was exquisite and perfect. Not only do you get the technical details, but you also go inside the astronauts' mind and sometimes even those of his family, while going along on the moonvoyages!
What's life like during the voyage (ejecting pee in space is supposed to be an awesome sight, although the process of getting it out there can sometimes be somewhat painful and also a bit 'messy' on the inside... ;)
Mark Schisler
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: space
It took over two years to finish this book, but it was an amazing journey that gives insight into what is possible when people work together towards an impossible goal. This book gave me hope for the future in spite of a culture that now seems to prefer cynacism and commentary over leadership towards positive change.

Even in the 1960's there were those, too, especially with regard to the space program. But a generation of men and women was able to rise above the naysayers and accomplish the unim
What is it like to step foot upon the moon? Barring the sudden rise of consumer-friendly lunar tourism, our best hope of finding out is to ask ask the men who have done, the twelve astronauts of the Apollo program's last four missions. Andrew Chaikin did just that, and based on lengthy interviews with not only the astronauts but their wives, various flight control officers, and engineers involved with the program, has produced a stellar history of the Apollo program.

Granted, it would be difficul
Alasdair Reads
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A comprehensive account of each of the Apollo Moon missions and their astronauts.

For a long book, it is surprisingly tight. There is not much background beyond that necessary to paint biographies of the astronauts. So, Apollo 9 because it did not go to the moon is a background part. Similarly, there is not much about the aftermath of going to the moon and almost nothing on the politics or impact of the program.

The section on Apollo 11 is perhaps the least satisfying account. Of all the Apollo
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a delight to hear. Having watched From the Earth to the Moon, I had an idea of what stories this would tell, but the richness and detail was great. Especially the oft told Apollo 13 presented much additional depth into the background. Repeatedly when there was mishap or uncertainty, NASA came across with much greater preparedness, often having either practiced this problem in simulation or prior mission. And each crew starred in their mission, achieving the author's goal. Never was it, thes ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is so much more to this book than just the missions. Being part of a generation where space flights were normal and having taught science for 5 years. I realized I had no idea what went into getting to the moon and what it took and what we have thrown away since those missions. My generation has no great sacrifice or achievement and this has made us complacent. This book is very easy to read and understand. If you are interested in space and you are a young reader, I recommend it highly.
Jeff Miller
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply wonderful, just about everything I wanted for a history of the Apollo program. Astronaut interviews of almost off of the Apollo astronauts and others provides the "you are there" touch making the history so immediate. Maybe not up to "The Rights Stuff" Tom Wolfe writing, but up there. Plus I liked how much this was more about the whole team and not just the astronauts.

I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Branson Pinchot - he is already my favorite narrator and he handled this
Toto Tvalavadze
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Fascinating story of Apollo program from very beginning to Apollo 17 and little bit beyond. Book leans heavily on Astronauts, their lives and experiences during the program—which was becoming to be a bit of let down since I was looking for technical details and engineering stories too. But, book is so well narrated that I can let this go. In fact, that be my only criticism—book lacks ~150 pages of nerdy engineering details and stories that around Saturn boosters, Lunar Module, Moon Rover and all ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Using interviews with all of the Apollo astronauts, the author paints individual portraits of all of the men who flew to the moon. This book is written with the general public in mind, and it does an excellent job of describing the complicated science involved in space flight and lunar geology in a digestible way. The profiles of the individual astronauts provide a human window into a vastly complicated series of missions. I enjoyed this and would recommend it.
Jacob Moody
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was great! It gave fantastic information about how those in NASA Got a man on the moon, and some of the things that happened in the moon missions, and, some of the fun facts that happened during the missions. Although this book was very long, it is on audio book, and it is nice to listen to on long drives or trips. It also is fun to learn more about the science behind the missions to the moon.
Ren Bedell
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
A great in-depth look at the Apollo program and the many adventurous and talented astronauts. I like that the book is not just a history overview of the events, but also goes into detail about the astronauts and their personalities. It is written very well that reading the stories about their travels makes you forget that you are not reading fiction, but true events. Great book!
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Award-winning science journalist and space historian Andrew Chaikin has authored books and articles about space exploration and astronomy for more than 25 years. Writer-director and explorer James Cameron (Titanic, Aliens of the Deep) called him “our best historian of the space age.”

Chaikin is best known as the author of A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts, widely regarded as
More about Andrew Chaikin...
“It's almost as if Kennedy grabbed a decade out of the 21st century," Cernan said, "and spliced it into the 1960s." That helps to explain why, as I wrote in 1993 in the preface of this book, we weren't entirely ready for Apollo, and why we have struggled to absorb its impact ever since it happened. How could the most futuristic thing humans have ever done be so far in the past?” 0 likes
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