on October 10, 2006
Not only is this Pocket Guide jammed with information, it's also got a great collection of Apollo photographs, beautifully reproduced. I'm really knocked out by the black and white ones Rob Godwin has colorized, like the panorama of Dave Scott working at the rover on the slopes of Hadley Delta peak. No Apollo fan should miss this book!
-- Andrew Chaikin, author of "A Man on the Moon"
on October 1, 2006
This is Volume II of a three part series of guidebooks on the Apollo project. Volume I covers Apollo missions 1 through 10 and this one covers 11 through 17. Textual coverage is only in brief detail, in the first half of the book, but Mr. Goodwin deserves an award for his writing style. He manages to highlight mostly the significant events of these manned missions to the Moon; the exception being Apollo 13. The latter was fairly accurately dramatized in Tom Hank's movie by the same name, so the author saw fit to only gloss over that mission assuming most readers will already know the story and most pertinent facts. However, the other six missions are still reasonably well described collectively in only the first 19 pages, as each of NASA's succeeding mission objective became increasingly more complex.
I think the introductions to each of Mr. Goodwins Pocket Space Guides are the best part, and can be read in less than an hour or so. They are intentional kept quite brief, yet inject reflections of centuries old, man's quest (and struggles) for enlightenment through greater scientific knowledge, with some of the greatest minds who may envisioned voyages to the Moon, long before it was technologically possible.
The book's writing style held my interest, because it is both educational and face paced; a perfect blend for both the casually interested and die hard Apollo freaks. The material is presented factually, yet with a certain flair that the average reader can easily understand and appreciate.
The middle part of the book is just the factual accounts of each mission in sequence with little more depth textually than already covered in the introduction, only with many more statistics and time based information.
The last half of the book is a collection of color photos - several blended together on a single page - of all the lunar landing missions. Of course, most of these are of the "Right Stuff" Apollo astronauts, in portraits taken just before their missions, and while in training. Their are stills of their Saturn V rockets on the launch pad and Apollo Command and Lunar Module spacecrafts inflight. All photos are fine selections, uniquely representative of each mission, showing wide ranging contrast in lunar landscapes at or near some (not all) of the landing site.
The only criticism of this book is the physical book itself; i.e. its construction. The binding is a bit intrusive to the margins on each page and with sufficient flexing, while turning pages for best viewing, individual pages can become detached. Nevertheless, these books are very inexpensive and certainly well worth the price for the rich content of Apollo facts, photos and history they succinctly reveal to the reader.
on March 19, 2007
The pocket series from Apogee gets better and better. Project Apollo: Exploring the Moon, Vol. 2 is a concise summary of the later Apollo missions that were truly meaningful expeditions. When scientists realized Apollo 17 would end the moon program they started cramming science into every mission. The LRV allowed the moonwalkers to become lunar explorers, traveling miles around each landing site. Most of the photographs included the book are well known, but they provide visual highlights to each mission. Who can forget Young's jumping salute and Cernan's John Wayne stance? This is America at its finest.
on December 14, 2006
This book is a great start to get to know what the Apollo Moon Program was all about. It's info-packed with drawings/illustrations and photographs. It's a solid introduction to Apogee Books' NASA Mission Reports series by Robert Godwin. This Pocket Space Guide, written by the same author, is of the same high-quality standard than the NASA Mission Reports. Great job.