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Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon Paperback – April 29, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


I am one of two women who worked on the Saturn V as an aerospace engineer during Apollo.
We worked on the SI-C stage at Michoud, La. I love the Saturn V. This is my  is my autobiography. --Author

From the Author

This is a light-hearted and funny book about the high-jinks and
overall devilment that occurred during Apollo. It is an easy read that anyone can enjoy.
There are no complicated equations, detailed physics or complicated engineering.
It appeals to everyone.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing (April 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609110633
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609110635
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,386,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sara Howard graduated from Louisiana State University with an Honors Degree in Math and Astronomy. She worked as an Aerospace Engineer on the Saturn V during Apollo. Sara's first Apollo book "Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon" is a light-hearted autobiography of Sara both before and after her experiences working on Apollo.
Sara's newest book is, "Mischief at Michoud", published by Tate Publishing and is available on Amazon. This is an updated version of her first book and contains new information.
Sara is one of the only two women who were engineers on the first stage (S-IC) of the Saturn V. We worked at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) near New Orleans in the 1960s. Sara is honoring the incredible men and women who dedicated their lives to protecting others and changed the course of history forever.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Harvey A. Green on June 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
An enchanting work, Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon, is the perfect read on a pleasant Sunday afternoon. More than an autobiographical snapshot in the life of an aerospace engineer, Sara Howard's work is a balled; a love song. From beginning to end, this story is bound together by the author's unqualified love of the Apollo space program in which she participated as a technician extraordinaire.
As the author describes her work at NASA it is presented in the simple and engaging style that somehow seems unusual for a mathematician. Likewise, Howard's emotional relationship with her work in the space program, her relationship with her colleagues, and the Apollo program itself seem somehow out of sync with what one would expect from an accomplished aerospace engineer and protégé of Werner Von Braun. The reader cannot help but be caught up in Howard's excitement, her wonder and her joy in being part of the one of the greatest projects to date in the history of space exploration.
An easy read, the entire book can be read in a single afternoon, leaving the reader wanting more. For those interested in the human side of the experience of being one of the 400,000 dedicated people that participated in landing on the moon and returning again, this book is a joy to read. In the end the reader cannot help but salute Sara Howard's experience, her relationship to it, and her ability to share it in such an appealing way. If one word can be used to describe Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon it would be - delightful.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Juliann Troi, on July 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon is the fascinating account of a little noticed, yet essential part of the American space program. Told from the perspective of one of the "peons in the pits", Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon reveals an inspiring, never-before-seen side of the program. Having been a member of the team that built the Saturn V rockets used during the Apollo Program, Ms. Howard is an authoritative source on the greatest technological marvel in history.
Yet, this book is far more than a scintillating primer on the components that make space travel possible; it is a tribute to the 400,000 individuals who, together, made history by putting Americans on the moon. Without their expertise and hard work it could not have happened.
Thank you, Ms. Howard for sharing your remarkable story. This is truly "American history at its finest"!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Poppy on August 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
I read Sara Howard's book, 'Something Funny Happened on the way to the Moon' because of the title. It was seriously funny, as the curious title told me it should be. I was seriously surprised and learned valuable history lessons of the formative years of space travel and NASA, and the events that led to the first moon walk in 1969. I laughed with Sara's account of the the fact the Russians were the first to send a rocket into orbit, on my second birthday, October 4th, 1957. I remember looking into the heavens for it.

Her father wasn't real happy, and only made great minds think harder and be more determined to push the envelope into outer space further with safe and sound results. Sara Howard, a woman, and grown in the midst of changes with the 1960's, had the same fun the hippies were getting into, but she kept her feet on the ground and helped put the first human on the moon, literally. No doubt inspired by seeing her father launch his own rockets over six thousand feet up into the atmosphere. One of her dad's rocket was designed with the aide of Dr. Werner Von Braun. That name alone gave me the depth and seriousness of her book, written in an easy reading style with a flow that will take you to the last page at light speed for the interesting history lesson alone. No Hollywood movie script with a hyped up and distracting dialog for the suspenseful successful, hit movie ending, all landing in the lap of a few characters.

Instances as this and who made it possible for a human to travel as far as the moon, were entertaining. But, learning of the ones who actually had the ideas and made the design for a blueprint of a space ship that worked, and then not getting the recognition for it, was a feeling of disappointment I could understand.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark R. Whittington VINE VOICE on November 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon" contains a series of vignettes by Sara Howard, one of the two female engineers who worked on the Saturn V, the rocket that sent men to the moon.

One of the fascinating aspects of the memoir is that it does not read like a feminist tract, though one would think that a woman engineer in the man's world of the Apollo program would certainly count as a feminist icon. There is not a hint of any discrimination or even slight suffered by Howard because of her gender. That may be because the Apollo program was the ultimate meritocracy. One could either do the job assigned or not. Boy or girl, it seems not to have mattered, at least among the engineers.

One thing that does shine through in the memoir is Howard's fierce, protective pride in the Apollo program and her small but crucial part in it. Most people still remember the astronauts who walked on the moon. Many even can name a flight controller or two. Very few indeed remember any of the other 400 thousand plus people who toiled long hours in the 1960s to make that one small step happen.

Even after Apollo, Howard did some remarkable things, like fly private planes in an era where female pilots were a curiosity, even a generation after Amelia Earhart. She also helped to build the Trident missile submarine, one of the weapons platforms that kept the peace during the latter days of the Cold War.

It is a custom, and a good one, to, when seeing someone in uniform, to thank them for their service, to buy him or her a drink perhaps.
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