Top positive review
It's like erotica for a space nerd
Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2019
I really didn't know where to start for the review. The depth of information in this book, and the scope of just how much it covers in all aspects of every little bit of every step that went into getting us to the moon - you can't really just boil it down into a quick synopsis.
It jumps around. The opening is about the smell of the moon dust and the reactions different missions had. Information comes about various missions at various times, and I like this kind of shotgun effect because it reads less like some flat historical list of facts and more like you're sitting down with someone and they're reminiscing, and one thought leads them to another and then to another.
And it's not just scientific facts, there is a lot of glimpses of the personalities behind the players. I found it a bit funny when he mentioned the Kennedy was a bit miffed that throwing more money wouldn't just make them get to the moon faster. It kind of shows the difference between the politician with a goal and the engineers, and the different way they look at the myriad of problems that had to be overcome. Politicians often think if you throw enough money at something it'll work better, but what this book really delves into is all the minutiae that everyone had to deal with, all the ways that they had to overcome obstacles to do something that they never thought of having to do before. How so many things layered on top of each other, and how solving one question often opened up so many more.
And being in the IT field, I really enjoyed the detail about the rise of integrated circuits, and how even then in the 60's, the proliferation of computer chips over the years resulted in over a 99% price drop in them
There's also pages dedicated to the negatives, including the cost, and the other things that money could've been spent on, especially when you take in the cost of Vietnam at the same time. Things I never really considered, the war and the space race competing for dollars. And here the author does a good job laying out both sides of the argument.
There's just too much in here to boil it down. All I can say is that if you are a fan of the space program, especially Apollo and all the things that had to be done that first time, there isn't anything in this book you will not love...