By Edward Cortright

Offered at the side of the fortieth anniversary of the lunar touchdown, this re-creation of an respectable NASA book provides the exciting inside of tale of the Apollo application. Written in direct, jargon-free language and that includes quite a few illustrations, this compelling experience beneficial properties essays by means of engineers, directors, and astronauts that bear in mind the demanding situations linked to placing males at the moon.

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They were volunteer military pilots, graduates of test pilot schools. Each was required to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or equivalent, and at least 1500 hours of jet time. Of the first group of 60 candidates called to Washington to hear about the program, more than 80 percent volunteered. All were of such high caliber that selection was difficult. However, I picked seven: three Air Force, three Navy, and one Marine, on the basis that the Mercury program would probably not give more than this number a chance to fly.

THE YEAR OF DECISIONS (JUNE 1961 TO JUNE 1962) The twelve months following the decision to go to the Moon saw the complete plan unfold. New Centers were created, roles and missions were assigned, and the basic designs for the launch vehicle and spacecraft were agreed upon. In addition, a vital new program, called Gemini, was instituted to explore rendezvous, docking, and the many other factors that were vital before Apollo could set out. At the onset of the program, there were two government groups eager to participate.

A month after the 184-pound Sputnik I, they sent up the dog Laika (above) in the 1 120-pound Sputnik II. Three years later, on April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin (right and below) became the first man to orbit the Earth. His Vostok I’s payload was 10,417 pounds and his flight lasted 108 minutes. At this time, the United States was in the final stage of preparing for its first manned suborbital flight, on May 5, 1961. The physical hazards of weightlessness were then almost wholly unknown. 50 Engineers brainstormed many ideas.

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