NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind’s historic first mission to the Moon, from the bestselling author of Shadow Divers.
“Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian and Artemis
By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas.
In a year of historic violence and discord—the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago—the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America’s greatness under pressure. In this gripping insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight.
Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time—and arrive at a new world.
“Rocket Men is a riveting introduction to the [Apollo 8] flight. . . . Kurson details the mission in crisp, suspenseful scenes. . . . [A] gripping book.”—The New York Times Book Review
|Edition description:||Large Print|
|Product dimensions:||6.12(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.99(d)|
About the Author
Robert Kurson earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin and a law degree from Harvard Law School. His award-winning stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Esquire, where he was a contributing editor. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers, the 2005 American Booksellers Association’s nonfiction Book Sense Book of the Year; Crashing Through, based on Kurson’s 2006 National Magazine Award–winning profile in Esquire of the blind speed skier, CIA analyst, and entrepreneur Mike May; and Pirate Hunters. He lives in Chicago.
Place of Birth:Chicago, Illinois
Education:B.A. in Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1986; J.D., Harvard Law School, 1990
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Table of Contents
Prologue: Countdown 3
Chapter 1 Do You Want To Go To The Moon? 5
Chapter 2 The Space Race 13
Chapter 3 A Secret Plan 29
Chapter 4 Are You Out Of Your Mind? 39
Chapter 5 Frank Borman 53
Chapter 6 Just Four Months 69
Chapter 7 Jim Lovell 84
Chapter 8 Pushed To Superhuman Speeds 99
Chapter 9 Bill Anders 108
Chapter 10 How's Fifty-Fifty? 126
Chapter 11 My God, We Are Really Doing This 136
Chapter 12 Leaving Home 151
Chapter 13 A Deeply Troubled Year 169
Chapter 14 A Critical Test 183
Chapter 15 An Astronaut In Trouble 196
Chapter 16 Equigravisphere 205
Chapter 17 Racing the Moon 220
Chapter 18 Our Most Ancient Companion 228
Chapter 19 Earthrise 233
Chapter 20 The Heaven and the Earth 250
Chapter 21 Aiming for Home 264
Chapter 22 Please Be Informed-There is a Santa Claus 273
Chapter 23 Help From an Old Friend 287
Chapter 24 The Men Who Saved 1968 299
Diagram of Apollo 8 342
Author's Note 345
A Note On Sources 351