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In the Shadow of the Moon


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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsForewordAcknowledgments1. Gemini Raises the Bar2. A Rendezvous in Space3. The Ballet of Weightlessness4. The Risk Stuff5. The Astronaut Enigma6. Starting Over7. Leaving the Good Earth8. A Test Pilot's Dream9. The Highest MountainEpilogueReferencesIndex

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A people's history of the global space race in the late 1960s, beginning with the Gemini program, the start of the Russian Soyuz program, and concluding with the landing of Apollo 11's Eagle on the moon

About the Author

Francis French is the director of education at the San Diego Air and Space Museum and the coauthor with Colin Burgess of Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965, available in a Bison Books edition. Colin Burgess is a former flight service director with Qantas Airways and the editor of Footprints in the Dust: The Epic Voyages of Apollo, 1969-1975 (Nebraska 2010). Walter Cunningham was a NASA astronaut from 1963 to 1971 and a crew member on the first manned Apollo flight.


The Gemini program has always been NASA's quiet, superachieving middle child, overshadowed by the space cowboys of the Mercury years and Apollo's lunar prospectors. French, an executive at Sally Ride Science, and Burgess, author of Fallen Astronauts, chronicle the missions on which American astronauts learned how to live in space for more than a few hours; steer a spacecraft around the Earth at almost 20,000 miles an hour; rendezvous with a companion ship; and navigate to another world and return safely. The authors relate that during the early Gemini missions, in the mid-'60s, several crews came close to ending in tragedy before NASA had the bright idea to have Buzz Aldrin practice in a Baltimore swimming pool for the final flight, Gemini 12. The book also covers the Apollo program and the U.S.S.R.'s simultaneous space efforts. Although the authors interviewed surviving astronauts, family members and NASA staff for some fresh material, space aficionados will know most of this saga by heart. For young readers born decades after man last walked on the moon, this is a readable introduction to the first years of America's leap into space. Illus. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"For both space superpowers, human spaceflight was filled with remarkable triumphs as they strove to place the first person on the moon. There were also devastating tragedies to overcome. Through diligent research and pivotal interviews the authors recount that extraordinary era in this superbly crafted and eminently readable book." Rex Hall, MBE, former president of the British Interplanetary Society "My husband told the authors stories about his Apollo 8 mission that he had never even told me!" Valerie Anders, wife of Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders "President Kennedy's goal of landing a man on the Moon was achieved only because of 15 trailblazing Gemini and Apollo missions flown during four dynamic years of trial and discovery described in this meticulously researched book. [In the Shadow of the Moon] truly captures the spirit and culture of those who won the race to the Moon." Dave Scott, commander of the Apollo 15 mission "Our lives and those of future generations were forever transformed by the events so vividly related in this book. These were the tense, often inspiring days of pioneering human space travel, and the authors are to be congratulated for their unerring portrayals of many larger-than-life personalities involved in that historic endeavour." Cece Bibby, first woman to work at the Mercury launch pad

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