How Apollo Flew to the Moon

How Apollo Flew to the Moon

4.63 (394 ratings by Goodreads)
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Between 1968 and 1972, twenty four daring men journeyed from Earth to the Moon. This fascinating book traces what was a massive accomplishment right from the early launches through manned orbital spaceflights, detailing each step. Out of the battlefields of World War II came the gifted German engineers and designers who developed the V-2 rocket, which evolved into the powerful Saturn V booster that propelled men to the Moon. David Woods tells this exciting story, starting from America's postwar astronautical research facilities. The techniques and procedures developed have been recognised as an example of human exploration at its greatest, demonstrating a peak of technological excellence.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 440 pages
  • 174 x 244 x 26.92mm | 874g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations (some col.)
  • 0387716750
  • 9780387716756
  • 405,680

Table of contents

Apollo's birth.- Saturn cometh.- Launch -- a fiery departure.- Earth orbit.- Translunar injection.- Retrieving the lander.- Navigating to the moon.- Coasting to the moon.- Entering lunar orbit - the LOI manoeuvre.- Next stop -- the Moon.- Orbital sojourn -- doing science from a spacecraft.- Rendezvous and docking.- Heading for home -- the TEI manoeuvre.
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Review quote

From the reviews: "A space exploration enthusiast from Bearsden has written a book about Apollo's journeys to the moon in 1971. ! David, a post-production editor at BBC Scotland, is keen to point out that his book is ! aimed at geeks. He was careful to make it as human as possible and accessible for all. He says it is a narrative rather than a manual. His book is entitled 'How Apollo Flew to the moon' and is available from all good bookshops." (Milngavie & Bearsden Herald, January, 2008) "David has written a book in his spare time, compiled from his extensive research into the manned space missions. The book he's produced is a composite mission that follows a virtual flight to the moon from launch to splashdown. ! He's managed to write a scientific book about the moon that is science-packed, but actually very easy to read. ! His book has been well received among the international space community but it deserves to be a cross-over success." (Glasgow Sunday Herald, February 2008) "I must personally say that I have found, what I consider, the quintessential book on flying Apollo. If you want to understand the terminology, the various systems, how they functioned together to land on the Moon and return home, then this is the book. While I have written articles on the Apollo Guidance Computer, the star charts used and proofed a new book coming out on the lunar landing, this book explains the mission simply and succinctly. David, this book is really well done." (Larry McGlynn,, March, 2008) "An impressive book about the sequence of NASA Apollo flights that led to and beyond the moon landing in 1969. ! The book provides excellent descriptions of what occurred at each stage of the missions ! . this one is particularly good at explaining technical issues like orbital mechanics in understandable language. Includes excellent photographs (several in color) and diagrams, a 5-page glossary, a 3-page suggestion for further reading, and a good 20-page index. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers/libraries." (W. E. Howard, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (10), June, 2008) "This is, quite simply, one of the five best books ever written about the Apollo programme ! . Most books on Apollo have dealt with the 'what' and 'when' of the subject; this is the first to go deeply into the 'how' of the missions ! . Accompanying the text are many photos and diagrams, and there's also a selection of colour plates. ! There's so much to absorb in this book ! . A superb book in all respects!" (Liftoff, Issue 244, March-April, 2008) "A wealth of knowledge regarding the early days of manned space exploration. ! Woods describes each phase of an Apollo Mission in intimate detail, from the stacking of the booster until the crews are safely abroad the aircraft carrier. ! Ultimately, it is an easy read. ! As an armchair historian, I have always wondered about the intricacies on Apollo. Woods' book really satisfied my curiosity about systems and people." (James M. Busby, Space Times, Vol. 47 (3), 2008) "W David Woods has dedicated his research to the technology that took them there. How Apollo Flew To The Moon ! examines the background to the programme and gives an in-depth brief on how the systems and procedures safely transported humans on the 380,000km (240,000 mile) journey between the Earth and Moon, from blast-off to splashdown. Fully illustrated and with comprehensive index, this is a worthy addition to any ! astronaut's library." (Flight International, September, 2009) "The Internet has brought new possibilities for space documentation. ! Now Woods has distilled the information into the book How Apollo Flew to the Moon. ! it is a good read for someone with ! interest in the details of a manned spaceflight. Woods takes the reader through every stage of the process of the Apollo missions. ! The book also effectively describes many other interesting details, including the pressure under which Apollo crews needed to operate." (Nick Watkins, Eos, October, 2009) "It is well researched and written and the step-by-step process of what happened (and why) is reassuringly logical. The book is fairly well illustrated ! and includes a number of simple line drawings to explain the basic physics of orbits and trajectories. ! The author of this book has risen to the challenge of explaining how man got to the Moon and has done a creditable job." (Mark Williamson, Satellite Evolution Group, 2009) "If you are the kind of person that watches launches and wishes that you could listen to the ground and air to ground communications loops, instead of the reporters and the PAO ! this is probably the kind of book you would like. The book has some interesting tidbits and hints of things as well. ! I am loving it, so I would ! recommend it." (John, Newsgroups: Sci.Space.History, June, 2008) "The shift in a known accurate ground based carrier reference was used to determine the speed, and an synchronization of data frames provided the necessary time-delay measurements for the determination of distance. For an excellent reference on the details of exactly how this was achieved, please see How Apollo Flew to the Moon, by David Woods ! . If there is one book you need to read on the subject, this is the one to get! ! details in this reference on navigation are excellent." (Jim Cottle, Bulletin of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers, Vol. 56 (10), October, 2008) "The Apollo mission in 1969 kicked it all off. The way those missions happened and the meticulous planning is captured in a book every space enthusiast should own, How Apollo Flew to the Moon from W. David Woods ! ." (Mind Sorbet, July, 2008) "How Apollo Flew to the Moon by W. David Woods is just a masterpiece of a read. It flows through the missions on a step by step basis, with really good explanations of space travel and gravity, etc. ! I didn't find the book complicated ! . It was exactly what I wanted for a deeper understanding of the Apollo missions." (Jafo, Amazon, February, 2010) "This book is brilliant ! it gives a fantasically detailed step-by-step account of the technology that got the apollo crafts to the moon 40 years ago - including all the prelims - the alternatives - the science - the politics - and is interspersed with interesting commentary from the astronauts involved ! the clarity with which the narrative is written is commendable - i loved reading it." (B. Yla, Amazon, August, 2009) "A fantastic book that is pitched at the level of the layman with some technical knowledge. This book contains all of the answers to all of the questions you would have on the subject of the Apollo project from a technical standpoint. Once you pick it up, you will struggle to put it down. Do not lend this book to anyone because you wont get it back!" (C. R. Mackay, Amazon, December, 2008) "It is one of the best technical books on Apollo I have ever read ! . All in all, a very good book, beautifully presented, laced with anecdotes and engineering details but never too heavy. ! Recommended." (A. D. Crysell, Amazon, April, 2008) "This book is a dream read for me. ! How Apollo flew to the Moon has technical information by the bucket load without bogging you down in numbers and equations. A brilliant book ! ." (E. M. Robson, Amazon, March, 2010) "This book covers just about everything I ever wanted to know about the technical side of Apollo. Nicely written and extremely interesting. ! If you love this subject go but it." (S. Eldridge, Amazon, March, 2010) "For even those mildly interested in space travel (and the engineering behind it) this is a fantastic book. ! this simply explains in an easy-to-understand way how they flew to the moon, from conception to splashdown. A thoroughly enjoyable read." (Amazon, January, 2010) "If you want to know how Apollo actually worked, then this is the book for you. ! The book is well written ! . author also does a good job of explaining how it was a combined effort of everyone who designed, built and administered Apollo that got it to the moon ! . As a professional engineer I have often wondered how various aspects of spaceflight are managed, and when reading this book I repeatedly found myself thinking 'so that's how they did it'." (Christopher Bell, Amazon, January, 2010) "Very interesting book full of facts previously unknown to me. It also answered the question (in detail) about how astronauts spend a penny in space and more etc. A must have book for anybody interested in the NASA moon missions and pretty good value too." (B. David, Amazon, October, 2009) "David gives the book a logical flow from start to finish, citing facts from each mission as appropriate to illustrate the issues. ! Until reading this book I had never realised just how superb the design of the Saturn/Apollo machine was. ! I would recommend this book for anyone already interested in the Apollo missions ! . It's a gem." (Jonathan Glenister, Amazon, November, 2008) "This book explains ! all, and somehow manages to do it in a way that is engaging and fairly easy to follow. I found it endlessly fascinating. Really excellent stuff that really fills a major gap ! . So warmly recommended." (Pete, Amazon, November, 2008) "I have just finished reading this excellent book and I would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in the Apollo project, or space flight in general. Without getting bogged down in equations, this book explains how the space craft of the Apollo era worked and where flown. ! Each section contains examples from the real missions to show how a staggering series of procedures allowed the first humans to walk on the moon. Well worth reading!" (M. J. Bowyer, Amazon, May, 2008) "Apollo project must have been perhaps the greatest adventure of mankind. ! This beautiful book describes in a vivid way or better tell the story of this unique adventure. The best feature of 'How Apollo Flew to the Moon' is the way it is written. ! I fully recommend this book. It is not only extremely interesting but also easy going." (Antonios F. Arkas, Amazon, February, 2009) "It is an excellent book that I would recommend to anybody with an interest in space flight - you really don't need any prior knowledge in order to enjoy and understand this book!" (P. Bearman, Amazon, April, 2008) "This exquisite book fills a noticeable gap in historical coverage of the Apollo missions. ! Essential aspects of the flights are presented clearly and at appropriate moments. ! Highly recommended." (Eric M. Jones, Amazon, January, 2008) "It beautifully fills in the gaps as to what was actually going on, and explains in relatively simple terms how the systems work. ! I'm very happy to have the book in my collection. ! this is an excellent book than any fan of the Apollo era will want to have in his or her library." (Jonathan H. Ward, Amazon, July, 2008) "This is a wonderful book! ! David Woods helped me a lot with filling the gaps in my knowledge about Apollo. ! Woods explains the stuff nobody else bothered to explain. ! This is the book that explains the physics in a way a non-rocket scientist will understand it intuitively!" (Bluesman, Amazon, March, 2008) "I have over 200 books on the early space program ! but this book is by far the best and most detailed I have ever read on just how it was done. ! If you ever wanted to know, for example, what every abort mode meant during launch ! get this book! ! I guarantee, even if you thought you knew a lot about it, you'll be amazed at what it took to fly to the moon." (Mark Caterina, Amazon, July, 2008) "A page-turner for those interested in the mechanics of spaceflight. ! What struck me most about this book was the depth of research, and the revelatory nature ! of the material. ! If you have even a passing interest in the technical detail of Man's greatest accomplishment, get this book. Guaranteed to please the hard-core space fan." (Amazon, June, 2008) "This book is fantastic and is a must-have for any astronautics bookshelf. I've read and enjoyed pretty much all the popular histories of Apollo, but this book is like having an owner's manual for the Apollo spacecraft. ! Thanks to W. David Woods for writing this." (M. McCollum, Amazon, March, 2009) "This title is wonderful and a pleasure to read, it does not neglect to use technical explanations and whets your appetite for more. ! It really is fascinating and I recommend it ! ." (Gregory J. R. Bourke, Amazon, September, 2008) "This is a great book. ! I found this book covered enough of the technical aspects ! but not too much to bore me with details. ! It is very well written and an easy read. I'd recommend it for anyone who is interested in descriptions of the hardware as well as how and why the missions were run in the way that they were." (Raphael Nascimento, Amazon, March, 2008) "I love this book. I've read the regular stuff ! and enjoyed the whole story of the human endeavor, but I figured I'd never find a book that explains the technical side. But this book does. ! I love this book and find very interesting." (Jim, Amazon, March, 2010) "For the Spaceflight and Apollo Program historian and enthusiast, this is 10 out of 10 and two thumbs up. ! 'How Apollo Flew to the Moon' offers a very clear, detailed and unique perspective on all of the flight dynamics for the entire mission ! . The explanations of the orbital trajectories, rendezvous and navigation techniques were expertly described. ! a must for every Space enthisiast's library ! ." (Kyle C. Miller, Amazon, November, 2009) "If you only ever buy 2 or 3 Apollo books in your life, make sure this is one of them. I have a few Apollo books in my collection and none of them come close to the clarity and detail on offer here. ! It's perfect for those who have a passing interest in space exploration ! ." (Nevar, Amazon, November, 2009) "This is one of my very favorite, and probably THE favorite, book that I have ever read on the Apollo program. It is a must read for any true Apollo fan. Thank you Mr. Woods for making your very interesting book available to us all!" (Robert Woolard, Amazon, September, 2009)
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About W. David Woods

Apollo arose from the depths of America's post war aeronautical research facilities and was originally conceived as a general purpose spacecraft. Between 1968 and 1972, demonstrating sheer daring, twenty four men journeyed from the Earth to the Moon in the mid-twentieth century. The techniques and procedures developed for what was seen as a political decision by President John F Kennedy, was subsequently recognised as a supreme example of human exploration at its greatest, demonstrating an apparent peak of technological excellence.
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Rating details

394 ratings
4.63 out of 5 stars
5 72% (282)
4 22% (87)
3 5% (20)
2 1% (3)
1 1% (2)
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