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Footprints in the Dust: The Epic Voyages of Apollo, 1969-1975 (Outward Odyssey: A People's History of S) Hardcover


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Footprints in the Dust: The Epic Voyages of Apollo, 1969-1975 (Outward Odyssey: A People's History of S) + In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965-1969 (Outward Odyssey: A People's History of S) + Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965 (Outward Odyssey: A People's History of S)
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Product Details

  • Series: Outward Odyssey: A People's History of S
  • Hardcover: 520 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press; First Edition edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803226659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803226654
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 9.1 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Footprints in the Dust is] an interesting account of US and Soviet lunar missions."—J.Z. Kiss, CHOICE
(J.Z. Kiss CHOICE)

“Elegantly written and scrupulously researched, this marvelous book not only opens a window on a truly dynamic period but is one of those rarities in spaceflight literature—a compelling and enjoyable page-turner. It captures magnificently the remarkable spirit of those involved in the Apollo story.”—Charles M. Duke Jr., Apollo 16 astronaut and moonwalker
(Charles M. Duke Jr. 2009-07-01)

“We who engaged ourselves in making the Apollo program a reality realize the tremendous importance and responsibility of inspiring young people, our future space pioneers. This book emphasizes the notion that seemingly ordinary people can do quite extraordinary things, and we are not bound by our dreams. A remarkable tale of triumph and melancholy.”—Ed Buckbee, author (with Wally Schirra) of The Real Space Cowboys
(Ed Buckbee 2009-07-01)

“Like its predecessors in the Outward Odyssey series, this vivid and entertaining book reveals the human side of space exploration. We all too often think of the Apollo program as a technical achievement, when, in fact, it was the human element that made it successful.”—Al Worden, Apollo 15 astronaut and chairman of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation
(Al Worden 2009-07-01)

About the Author

Colin Burgess is the coauthor of Fallen Astronauts: Heroes Who Died Reaching for the Moon; Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961–1965; and In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965–1969, all available from the University of Nebraska Press. Richard F. Gordon was one of the third group of astronauts named by NASA in October 1963. He completed two space flights, as pilot and spacewalker on the Gemini 11 mission and as command module pilot for Apollo 12.
 
Contributors: Philip Baker, Geoffrey Bowman, Colin Burgess, Stephen Cass, Melvin Croft, Rick Houston, Robert Pearlman, Dominic Phelan, Simon A. Vaughan, and John Youskauskas.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Thus the book goes beyond just the Apollo moon landings in covering the Skylab and ASTP missions.
Terry Sunday
Indeed, seeing the Soviet perspective and history of their space program are to me, some of the most interesting chapters.
cpt matt
Each author has his own style and each chapter includes interesting background tidbits about the missions.
Delta Sigma

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Gary Schroeder on May 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the third volume I've read in the terrific "People's History of Spaceflight" series. It fills in the gap between "In the Shadow of the Moon," covering Gemini and Apollo up to the first landing, and "Homesteading Space," the Skylab story. In the Shadow of the Moon is one of the best new additions to the Apollo literature that I've seen in some time (full details in my previous Amazon review), so I had high hopes for Footprints.

While Footprints is certainly not bad, I must report that it's less engaging than Shadow -- whose greatest strength was a focus on behind-the-scenes details of astronaut politics and personalities, some of which were unknown, even to someone like me who's read the entire Apollo canon. Footprints has fewer "new" factoids that the Apollo enthusiast craves. For the most part, it recounts the basic facts of the post-Apollo 11 missions in a relatively breezy fashion. Accurate to be sure, but if you've read Chaikin's "Man on the Moon," you've probably read it all before, and in much greater detail.

The mission recaps are a bit shorter than they otherwise might have been because of the number of pages dedicated to the parallel -- and ultimately unsuccessful -- Soviet lunar program. While there's potentially a lot of territory to cover in the previously hidden Soviet program, I found the retelling to be somewhat dry. It certainly lacks the intense drama of the comparable American story...mostly because their program never got very far. Without a reliable super-booster (the N1 rocket having failed spectacularly four consecutive times), they simply could not advance the program and instead resorted to flying repetitious manned orbital flights and long duration stays aboard various Salyut space stations.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Whizzospace on August 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The last five years have produced a surprising number of works on the history of manned spaceflight. Much of the attention derives from the fortieth anniversary of the first lunar landing in 2009, and while it's terrific to see a resurgent interest in this unique aspect of human endeavor, some works are merely capitalizing through new editions, or repackaging of known stories. As a self-professed space enthusiast, the challenge is to find something not yet heard; uncovering lesser known tales; hearing the astronauts' more personal insights. After so many decades of reflection, many of these well known aviator/engineer/scientists are opening up, becoming chattier, and often showing an emotional side their professional lives - out of necessity and technical brevity - often suppressed. Though NASA's decade long oral history program captured some of this astronaut recollection, a good space tale needs some personal punch. Thousands helped develop, build, and launch trans-lunar machines, and it always took people to fly them - and more importantly, it still takes people to interpret these historic events.

The Outward Odyssey history of the manned space program, expertly written by Colin Burgess, Francis French, and others, is a treasured part of my library. When I finally ordered this edition, from an already superlative series, I expected entertaining and factual work. Yet Mr. Burgess opted for a novel approach, seeking additional space history expertise plus unique interpretation, from a number of authors. I find one of the greatest strengths of this work is the international makeup of the contributors. As someone raised and educated in the U.S., the views from other continents are particularly enjoyable - it's simply a blast reading how Apollo played globally.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ta Burns on June 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm really enjoying the book, some nice insights on an event that happened 40 years ago, from those involved, who have now had time to reflect.

The book was simply placed in a box with another box, so from a packing point of view, a poor effort, there was slight cosmetic damage to the other book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terry Sunday TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Footprints in the Dust: The Epic Voyages of Apollo, 1969-1975" is both more and less than you might think when you first crack open the cover.

Its structure consists of 12 main chapters plus a Prologue and a 30-page Epilogue, each of them written by one of 10 different authors. Editor Colin Burgess, who himself contributed the Prologue and three chapters, did a masterful job of combining the efforts of a disparate, far-flung writing team into a clear, comprehensive and unified story of Project Apollo. Each 30-to-40-page chapter covers a single Apollo mission, beginning with the July 1969 landing of Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin on Apollo 11 (the earlier flights are mentioned in passing, but do not get their own chapters) and ending with the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) in 1975. There are also two chapters that cover the Soviet Union's frantic attempts to win the moon race, in one of the best capsule histories of the N1 and manned lunar spacecraft development program that I've ever read, and the Salyut space station project.

Thus the book goes beyond just the Apollo moon landings in covering the Skylab and ASTP missions. That's the "more" I mentioned above. By "less," I mean that the technical content of the chapters is not as high as it is in many other books about the subject, and varies a bit from chapter to chapter. This is by no means a criticism--rather, I think the breadth and depth of treatment of the individual missions is nearly perfect for the curious general reader. For a space cadet like myself, whose spaceflight library runs to several hundred volumes, I found the change of pace from the tech-heavy tomes that I usually read to be very refreshing. "Footprints in the Dust" does a superb job of capturing the spirit and excitement of the times.
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