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Apollo 13: Lost Moon Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1995

4.7 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

On April 13, 1970, three American astronauts were on their way to the moon when a mysterious explosion rocked their ship, forcing them to abandon the main ship and spend four days in the tiny lunar module which was intended to support two men for two days. A harrowing story of danger, courage and brilliant off-the-cuff engineering solutions which resulted in a dramatic rescue.


A thrilling story of...disaster and incredible heroism... -- James Michener, author of Space

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket; Reissue edition (July 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671534645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671534646
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.2 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #529,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. L Sadler on September 14, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It had been a long time since I first saw the Apollo 13 movie and it was on TV, so I stopped and watched (and didn't move again until it was finished). The movie was fascinating, and it really triggered an interest to know more about what actually happened. With the limited time format in a movie to convey the technical information and the science behind 'slingshotting' the Apollo spacecraft around the moon, it was difficult to the full impact of the immense effort to get these men back safely. So when I had an opportunity to get the book, I did.
I think this is the first time I've read a book and seen a movie that were both excellent. The movie did the best possible job in a limited time to convey the urgency. The book, which is filled with the conversations of the astronauts with NASA space center, as well as the innovation behind the scenes of all the men involved (and the companies) is absolute 'must' reading for anyone who wants to understand the science and engineering behind this almost-disaster. I beg to differ with the men who felt they had failed, including Lovell who did not get to land on the moon. Without the knowledge they gained from this flight, more people may have died...and it certainly advanced knowledge and understanding for space flight for the rest of us left on earth below.
This is an incredible story and an well-written book. I could hardly put the thing down, and this is not an area of expertise or interest for me usually. It's a little hard to keep the names and people straight, because so many were involved. But it is worth the effort. This is an excellent book to give to students interested in space or engineering.
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Format: Hardcover
Apollo 13 is one of History's great voyages regardless of how long one extends the time frame into the past. If the mission had transpired faultlessly, it still would have qualified for the astonishing, remarkable, achievement it would have been. With the malfunctions that cascaded upon the 3 crewmen, they, together with the men and women on the ground, created their own miracle when the splashdown with the 3 crewmembers was completed. The return, in spite of the overwhelming odds that were against them, places this trip in category of great human achievement, even as it is hoped it never need be repeated.
One fact helped to put the trip into perspective for me. If you have a hand held calculator nearby, pick it up. The chances are the computing power you hold in your hand surpasses that available to the crew in their effort to come home. The movie demonstrated this with slid rules and math completed with paper and pencil. The whole event is almost unimaginable.
The book is worth reading because as hard as it may be to fathom, the actual trip was even more hazardous, the problems even more numerous than the movie portrayed. I am not suggesting the movie was flawed, only that it was limited by time for telling the entire story.
I met Mr. John L. Swigert when I was quite young. My memories are limited but I have a picture that was taken with him that is a treasure. Several years ago I heard Mr. Jim Lovell speak, and his remarks confirmed that the actual trip held hazards the movie did not depict. As he related parts of the story the impression was of a man who was always in control, a leader, and utterly confident in the men he flew with, and those they relied so heavily with on the ground. There was nothing about him that gave the impression that what he did was special.
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By A Customer on November 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Did you see the movie and wonder some things? Like what WAS that PC+2 burn they kept talking about in the movie? (A burn to speed up the ship that occured 2 hours after the craft reached the pericynthion of its orbit, or the closest point the craft came to the moon) Did that seat-of-the-pants burn that was shown actually occur? (Yes, it did, but only lasted 14 seconds instead of the 30 in the movie) Did Jim Lovell really tell his wife that they were not going to Acupulco (sic) but instead the moon? (Yes, but during Apollo 8)
Just as engaging as the (wonderful) movie and twice as informative (not that the movie WASN'T, just that the book lasts longer then the movie), this book is a great read even if you are not into the Apollo era. It is filled with ironic humor ("...Apollo 13, so the Houston guys now had it, would be coming home on the afternoon of April 17 - or perhaps on the evening of the seventeenth, or perhaps sometime on the eighteenth - and would be splashing down in the South Pacific - or perhaps the Indian Ocean, or perhaps the Atlantic.") and loads of information, which make the movie look like it tells you nothing. Information is included on the trans-lunar injection simply mentioned in the movie (which got Apollo 13 going towards the moon), the PC+2 burn, an explosion of one of the betteries in the LEM, yet another quick burn about 5 hours before reentry, and a description of why the explosion occured that is far more satisfying then what was offered in the movie.
See the movie, then read the book. Then see the movie again. And enjoy. :)
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