One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon
President John F. Kennedy astonished the world on May 25, 1961, when he announced to Congress that the United States should land a man on the Moon by 1970. No group was more surprised than the scientists and engineers at NASA, who suddenly had less t ...more
--Neil deGrasse Tyson--
Released to coincide with the 50-year anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon walk, One Giant Leap tells the story of how a nation is challenged to do the impossible. As a young boy with his model Saturn V rocket and detachable lunar module in hand, I was among the 600 MILLION viewers who stayed up until 11pm on July 20, 1969 to see Neil Armstrong take a giant leap for mankind ...more
One negative aspect of this book is that at times, the author ...more
The first chapters give us the societal and political context at the end of the 50s, review the accomplishments of the Soviet space program, Gagarin’s flight and Kennedy’s response. They also give some evidence that, though strongly supporting the moon project in public, Kennedy was not so keen on it in private, and as criticism mounted and his second term election approached, he was pondering cutting its budget.
But the ...more
The author reminds us of the ultimate goal that was a perfect storm of Cold War, paranoia, scientific and cutting edge technology and the journey’s amazing place in history.
Living through the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo programs I was living the dream as a kid, building the models and corresponding with Gordon Coope ...more
That's the sense in which the culture of manned space travel helped lay the groundwork for the Digital Age. Space didn't get us ready for space; it got us ready for the world that was coming to Earth....more
The vision, engineering innovation and technology development at a time when we had no business doing what we did, is absolutely unthinkable and incredible.
Just as incredible is how we can take this accomplishment for granted today.
At a cost of $20 billion the return on investment from going to the moon is immeasurable.
The book did a great job of simplifying the complexity we faced, and the greatest ...more
I'm sold that Apollo left a legacy so much greater than velcro and Tang. This was fine research ...more
The book goes into so much detail that the Notes section in the Kindle version takes up more than a third of the book.
While most of the content is captivating, there are rambly and verbose bits here and there, so the book is a bit longer than one would need. But it’s a great read anyway.
The book is a paean to JFK's vision as well as his "hands off" method of the program. His tragic assassination led to the opposite approach by LBJ who decided ...more
1. Apollo was the biggest civilian project pretty much ever. It was literally the second largest employer in the country and had more people working for it than were in Vietnam at its peak.
2. It was basically a war move – beat the Soviets in an all-out race to the moon. And people really felt like that at the time! In some never-exactly-defined-way people thought that if the Soviets won the race to the moon, that was dangerous not just bad for morale. But a ...more
In the course of reporting about water to write The Big Thirst, Fishman has stood at the bottom of a half-million-gallon sewage tank, sampled water directly from the springs in San Pellegrino, Italy, and Poland Spring, Maine, and carried water on his head for 3 km with a group ...more