Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon

Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon

by Robert Kurson

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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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525589938
Publisher: Diversified Publishing
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 508,448
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.


Chicago, Illinois

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois


B.A. in Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1986; J.D., Harvard Law School, 1990

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Chapter One

Excerpted from "Rocket Men"
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Copyright © 2018 Robert Kurson.
Excerpted by permission of Diversified Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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

Epilogue 314

Acknowledgments 337

Diagram of Apollo 8 342

Author's Note 345

A Note On Sources 351

Index 357

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