Apollo 8 by Jeffrey Kluger

Apollo 8

In August 1968, one short year after three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, NASA decided that it would launch humankind’s first flight to the moon. Sixteen weeks later, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were aboard the first manned spacecraft to depart Earth’s orbit, reach the moon, and return safely to Earth, delivering a tear-inducing Christmas...

Title:Apollo 8
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1627798323
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:307 pages

Apollo 8 Reviews

  • Nancy
    Mar 24, 2017

    I admit I was space crazy as a girl, and forty-nine years later I am still thrilled when reading about the time 'when dreams came true' and men first went into space.

    Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger didn't disappoint. Although Apollo 8 doesn't have the inherent drama of the Apollo 13 mission, which Kluger and Lovett wrote about, the narrative is engrossing and riveting.

    NASA badly needed a success after the deaths of astronauts Grissom, White, and

    I admit I was space crazy as a girl, and forty-nine years later I am still thrilled when reading about the time 'when dreams came true' and men first went into space.

    Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger didn't disappoint. Although Apollo 8 doesn't have the inherent drama of the Apollo 13 mission, which Kluger and Lovett wrote about, the narrative is engrossing and riveting.

    NASA badly needed a success after the deaths of astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee in 1967 while testing Apollo 1. And so did an America entrenched in a spiraling war, enduring multiple assassinations, and experiencing civic unrest. Getting to the moon by 1970, as President Kennedy had challenged, seemed more unlikely than ever. Apollo 1 and the Saturn V rocket had both failed. The Vietnam war was draining our coffers and the space program was losing support. NASA had to buckle down and recommit to excellence.

    Gemini 7 astronauts Borman and Lovell were slated to spend fourteen days in space as human 'lab rats'. Then came the idea of sending Gemini 6 up after launching Gemini 7, a joint mission that would allow the spacecraft to approach each other to prove that docking could be possible.

    It was just the huge success NASA, and the country needed.

    As I read about Borman and Lovell and Gemini 6 and 7 I remembered my scrapbook with clippings and pages of articles.

    Next up was Apollo 8, the second manned Apollo mission, which was to orbit the moon in December 1968, paving the way for Apollo 11 and a lunar landing. Anders, Borman, and Lovett had sixteen weeks to prepare. It was a crazy risk.

    It was so interesting to read about the astronaut's life in space: motion sickness, meals, personal needs, illness, accidents, boredom--and the wonder of being the first humans to see Earth wholly suspended in the infinite universe. "This must be what God sees," Borman thought when he saw Earth.

    The amazing astronaut's wives stories are also impressive, accepting the risks of their husband's career and keeping home and children 'normal' in spite of legions of news reporters surrounding their homes.

    By the time of Apollo 8 my scrapbook days were over. But that mission had changed how my generation saw the world, spurring a new environmental awareness. Ander's photograph Earthrise was the first to impact Earthling's view of their place in the universe, a lesson was have sadly forgotten. This fragile, amazing planet is our home.

    I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

  • Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
    Jul 14, 2017

    Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger is a non-fiction book which tells the tale of this famous and historical mission to the moon and back. Mr. Kluger is a senior writer at Time and wrote several about the space program.

    This might be non-fiction, but the author makes this book read as if it is a novel – and an exciting, well written one at that. The author makes the story of the Apollo 8 mission not only personal, but also relevant and fresh.

    I’ve read

    Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger is a non-fiction book which tells the tale of this famous and historical mission to the moon and back. Mr. Kluger is a senior writer at Time and wrote several about the space program.

    This might be non-fiction, but the author makes this book read as if it is a novel – and an exciting, well written one at that. The author makes the story of the Apollo 8 mission not only personal, but also relevant and fresh.

    I’ve read many books about the space program, but Mr. Kluger managed to weave the personal stories of the astronauts (especially the Commander Frank Borman), along with technical details and geopolitical influences. Those subjects, related but difficult to explain, or weaved together in a narrative which makes sense and keeps the book interesting instead of bogged down like a technical manual or political science text book.

    Reading the book I felt as an intimate observer to the flight and the cockpit where the three astronauts (Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders) became the first humans to travel beyond low Earth orbit, see our home as a whole plant and observer the far side of the moon. Being in such small space with two other people, for a week, they must be compatible and flexible. There is even a section about the famous Earthrise photograph.

    This is a story about a technological marvel and human achievement, told from a personal, intimate point of view. Even if you know everything there is to know about the mission, I still believe it is a worthwhile, fascinating read.

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  • Carlos
    Jun 30, 2017

    This book was so interesting, previously my knowledge about space travel was limited to knowing the we did reach the moon but not much else...which is funny seeing how much i like science fiction..but this book is the real deal...Apollo 8 was not the mission that would get to the moon but it would be the first mission that will orbit the moon while manned by three astronauts , this was an extreme important feat before NASA could hope to send men to land in the moon, that privilege would fall to

    This book was so interesting, previously my knowledge about space travel was limited to knowing the we did reach the moon but not much else...which is funny seeing how much i like science fiction..but this book is the real deal...Apollo 8 was not the mission that would get to the moon but it would be the first mission that will orbit the moon while manned by three astronauts , this was an extreme important feat before NASA could hope to send men to land in the moon, that privilege would fall to Apollo 11 but that is something we are all familiar with it . This book will grant you knowledge about the formation of NASA , the political tensions that contributed to it and some aspects of the Cold war in the 1960's. Highly recommend it if you are interested in space exploration ...but be warned this is a dense work and there are big chapters with no or very small interruptions.

  • Jim
    May 13, 2017

    Very well written pop history. Kluger also co-write

    with Astronaut Jim Lovell that the movie Apollo 13 is based on. He is a clear fan of the space program and that shows through in this book. There is very little here NASA's public relations office would disapprove of.

    It is a straight ahead history of the December 1968 mission of Apollo 8, focusing primarily on Frank Borman, commander of the mission, with a somewhat lesser focus on the other crew me

    Very well written pop history. Kluger also co-write

    with Astronaut Jim Lovell that the movie Apollo 13 is based on. He is a clear fan of the space program and that shows through in this book. There is very little here NASA's public relations office would disapprove of.

    It is a straight ahead history of the December 1968 mission of Apollo 8, focusing primarily on Frank Borman, commander of the mission, with a somewhat lesser focus on the other crew members - Jim Lovell and Bill Anders. He also spotlights some of the managers, technicians, and engineers at NASA who made the mission possible, particularly Cris Kraft, Gene Kranz, and Jim Webb

    Kluger does a nice job with the narrative that does keep you interested throughout. If your sole interest is the mission itself and not the messy crap that happens behind the scenes when human beings are involved, this is the book for you. It was engrossing in that sense.

    If you are looking for more behind the scenes stuff, the political and turf wars at NASA, how the Astronauts interacted with each other and with NASA, the finger pointing after the Apollo 1 fire, and more than a superficial look at the private lives of those involved, there isn't too much here.

    If you are looking for an deeper analysis of Apollo 8's impact on America and the world, you won't get much of that here either; Kluger begins with the assumption that the mission had a positive, even transcendent impact.

    An example of this is his treatment of the Astronauts' famous Christmas message from the moon in which they read passages from the Book of Genesis. Kluger treats this as a defining moment in the flight, and doesn't even attempt to question whether it was appropriate. In fact Madalyn Murray O'Hair, America's most hated atheist, sued the U.S. Government claiming it violated the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment. And while the suit was dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction, NASA never allowed it to happen again. As an atheist myself I have to say I wince a bit when I hear those transmissions, and in my view O'Hair had a case. But in truth I was not all that bothered by it. It was a different time, a dangerous time, and though the passages have no effect on me (other than eye rolls), I can see they were welcomed by a weary world at the end of a very bad year!

    In any case, the point is Kluger is not attempting to provoke a debate, or to look at the space program in a wider context. He is telling the story of the Apollo 8 flight to the moon, and that's it.

    In this he succeeds admirably. If that is all you are looking for, it is well worth a read.

    Note: I listened to the audio version of this book. Besides the book, Kluger's recorded interview with Frank Borman is included as well as an edited version of mission transmissions. A nice bonus!

  • Ryan
    May 30, 2017

    All I can say is I love space and I picked up this book for that reason alone. Not until I was finished did I learn that Jefferey Kluger also wrote Apollo 13, I movie I loved watching when I was little (note to self: check to see if it's on Netflix).

    This is the story of the first manned flight to the Moon. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were absolute rock stars, but time has faded the memory of their names and replaced them with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. A small histo

    All I can say is I love space and I picked up this book for that reason alone. Not until I was finished did I learn that Jefferey Kluger also wrote Apollo 13, I movie I loved watching when I was little (note to self: check to see if it's on Netflix).

    This is the story of the first manned flight to the Moon. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were absolute rock stars, but time has faded the memory of their names and replaced them with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. A small history of the space program is given, including the Gemini program and the setbacks of the early Apollo program and tragedy of Apollo 1. Kluger does a great job as the storyteller, without tying down the reader with too much technical jargon and allowing the emotions of the families and NASA employees to come through the pages.

  • Reija
    Jun 15, 2017

    I have watched

    so many times that there wasn't much new information here but still quite nice story.

  • Susan
    Jul 14, 2017

    When I checked this book out from the library, I didn't really think about the fact that the whole book was about the Apollo 8 flight, which was the first manned flight to orbit the moon, which should have been obvious from the title. Then I wondered how he was going to fill the pages of the book talking about this one flight.

    I needn't have worried; beginning with the introduction to Frank Borman, Kluger details the lives of the crew, the history of NASA, and the development of the Apollo progra

    When I checked this book out from the library, I didn't really think about the fact that the whole book was about the Apollo 8 flight, which was the first manned flight to orbit the moon, which should have been obvious from the title. Then I wondered how he was going to fill the pages of the book talking about this one flight.

    I needn't have worried; beginning with the introduction to Frank Borman, Kluger details the lives of the crew, the history of NASA, and the development of the Apollo program leading up to the historic December 1968 flight. I learned things I hadn't known before which surprised me since I've read several other books about the Apollo program. Nor had I realized all the difficulties NASA had in getting a reliable system built but given what happened on the Apollo 13 flight, makes one wonder if they were successful.

    But when we are reminded that the computers that took men to the moon and back nearly 50 years ago were less powerful than our smart phones today it seems amazing that NASA was able to accomplish what it did and only lose 3 astronauts.

    This is a well written history and biography of the men who took us to space and a compelling read. Kluger was Jim Lovells co-author on

    , later known as

    after the movie of the same name was made. Anyone interested in the history of space exploration will enjoy this book.

  • Brian
    Jul 17, 2017

    Very engaging book about the early Apollo missions, focusing on Frank Borman, the commander of Apollo 8. I learned a lot about the missions - in many ways number 8 may have been as important as number 11. A must read for "space nerds".

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