- Series: Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight (Paperback)
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Smithsonian Books; Smithsonian History edition (September 11, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1588342735
- ISBN-13: 978-1588342737
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 111 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module (Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight (Paperback)) Smithsonian History Edition
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“A highly personalized story . . . of the Apollo Lunar Module, built at Grumman by the author and his team.”—Choice
“It’s surprising that the man most responsible for the spindly Apollo lunar landers, Tom Kelly, hasn’t told his story years before. Lucid and engaging, he tells how his team at Grumman in Bethpage, Long Island, went from paper studies to delivering hardware that would help change history. Beyond historical interest, the book has lessons for anyone involved in a large project at the cutting edge of technology.”—IEEE Spectrum
“. . . Written in an approachable style, and if you have even a passing interest in space exploration it will grip your interest. It constitutes an important primary source for the history of human exploration . . . This book is a flat-out good read.”—Meteoritics and Planetary Science
About the Author
The recipient of a Grumman Engineering Scholarship upon graduating from high school, Thomas J. Kelly worked for the company for more than forty years, retiring in 1992. Now an aerospace and computer consultant, he lives in Cutchogue, New York.
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Top customer reviews
For anyone that has grown up reading about Apollo, this is a great inside look filled with all the drama of the Apollo 1 fire, Apollo 13's explosions and saga of survival in the LM, design failures of every kind.
Kelley adds lots of biography with descriptions of all the major personalities from the astronauts to the controllers, engineers, and manufacturing personnel.
I had several questions answered that I had wanted to know for quite some time:
1. Was the LM's wall really as thin as aluminum foil.
2. How did NASA and Grumman arrive at such an ungainly looking design for the LM.
3. How does it all work? Kelley goes into great detail regarding the choice of fuels, tank design, cockpit design, the hatches, batteries, windows, navigation, pyrotechnics, life support, redundancy, etc.
As an engineer myself, I felt great commraderie with him in the his schedule and design challenges. If only most other major human technological achievements had such a delightful and well written memoirs...
Mr. Kelly was an experienced aerospace engineer and his writing style is highly technical. Yet you can find the story through his jargon. I liked this book. I discovered things about the LM that I never knew before (and I thought I knew just about everything).
If you are a space buff and especially if you are a student of the space program's early history this is a must read!