Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Review of "Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon," by Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton

 Review of

Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon, by Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton ISBN 1878685546

Five out of five stars

What a ride they had!

 While this is a history of the American program to put humans in space and ultimately on the moon, the focus is on the authors. Alan Shepard and Donald “Deke” Slayton were two of the original seven Mercury astronauts. Shepard was the first American into space while Slayton was grounded for many years before he was able to fly in the Apollo-Soyuz mission.

 As members of the original seven, the authors were extremely talented pilots, highly intelligent and willing to gamble. All qualities needed if you are to put yourself into a small enclosed cannister on top of a powerful rocket and travel over a half-million miles. In this book, they put down their experiences surrounded by the context of the US space program from the beginnings to Apollo-Soyuz.

 The story is a fascinating one, where skills and technology largely had to be built from the very beginning. In many cases, before it was done, it was not known if it could be done. There were fears that humans simply could not work and operate in free-fall conditions before Yuri Gagarin made his historic flight.

 If you are a fan of space flight and exploration, this is a book that you will enjoy. The authors not only express their thrills in being astronauts, but also their frustrations at being grounded for years due to medical conditions.

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