Apollo: the name conjures up images of spacesuit-clad astronauts riding fantastic machines to the surface of another world. But when it comes to the brass tacks, the mechanics of how it was accomplished – the image gets a little fuzzy.
It is with that in mind that author, engineer and historian David Woods has written: How Apollo Flew to the Moon. Now while this book is written by someone that has sat down with those involved with the Apollo Program and is an engineer himself – it doesn’t read that way. This appears to be one of Woods’ key considerations from the outset.
“I believe that the essential elements of any technology can be understood by any reasonably intelligent person, provided that the words can be found to explain it,” said Woods during an interview regarding the second edition of his book which was recently released. “This was the basis for this book. There’s no point in getting into the function of every electronic component or each equation used to describe a trajectory to the Moon, but I could see no reason why a person couldn’t come to understand the broad sweep of a mission and the many layers of technology and procedure that went into one.”
Many books that cover the Apollo Program delve a little too deeply into the technical aspects that made man’s first journey to another world possible. Novices, or those without engineering degrees get quickly bored and the books find themselves warming shelves.
How Apollo Flew To The Moon defeats this problem by breaking the technical hurdles, accomplishments and other aspects of the missions into bite-sized segments. It also avoids engineer-speak, explaining points in easy-to-understand language. It also is filled with color and black-and-white images as well as diagrams that explain how things happened, why other things were selected (and others weren’t) and so on.
The first edition of the book can be found on Amazon.com for around $30, whereas the newly updated second edition will set you back around $44.95. Given the attention to detail that is contained within this tome – it is well worth the additional cost to pick up the newer edition. How Apollo Flew To The Moon, second edition, is available for preorder from Amazon.com and other outlets. The book is scheduled to be released this summer.
“The book’s initial reception has been fantastic and I have been deeply humbled by folk’s kind words about it since it first came out,” Woods said. “The second edition is nearly ready and it expands on what was written in the first edition. At over 500 pages, it will be 25 percent larger with more color photographs throughout. There are additional stories of Apollo’s engineering triumphs both on the surface of the Moon as well as in flight, much of which reflects my continuing journey into the technical achievement that was Apollo.”