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Space Exploration

Countdown to a Moon Launch

Preparing Apollo for Its Historic Journey

Authors: Ward, Jonathan H.

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  • Includes information about the Apollo program launches based on extensive archival research
  • Describes in detail the process of preparing a Moon mission for launch at Kennedy Space Center - the "mission before the mission"
  • Relates critical events in Apollo/Saturn mission preparations that were not publicized at the time or which have been neglected over the years
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eBook $39.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-17792-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $49.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-17791-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Thousands of workers labored at Kennedy Space Center around the clock, seven days a week, for half a year to prepare a mission for the liftoff of Apollo 11. This is the story of what went on during those hectic six months.

Countdown to a Moon Launch provides an in-depth look at the carefully choreographed workflow for an Apollo mission at KSC. Using the Apollo 11 mission as an example, readers will learn what went on day by day to transform partially completed stages and crates of parts into a ready-to-fly Saturn V. Firsthand accounts of launch pad accidents, near misses, suspected sabotage, and last-minute changes to hardware are told by more than 70 NASA employees and its contractors. A companion to Rocket Ranch, it includes many diagrams and photographs, some never before published, to illustrate all aspects of the process. NASA’s groundbreaking use of computers for testing and advanced management techniques are also covered in detail.

This book will demystify the question of how NASA could build and launch Apollo missions using 1960s technology. You’ll discover that there was no magic involved – just an abundance of discipline, willpower, and creativity.

About the authors

American author Jonathan Ward spent several years of his childhood in Japan, but he considers the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D. C., to be his hometown. Although he has a wide variety of interests and has worked in many fields, space exploration is his lifelong passion. His joy of bringing the space program to life for the general public began in high school, when he served as a volunteer tour guide at the National Air and Space Museum during the Apollo 15 and 16 missions. He continues his public outreach today, as a Solar System Ambassador for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as a frequent speaker on space exploration topics to interest groups and at regional conferences, and as an author for Springer-Praxis. Jonathan is also a frequent contributor to online space exploration forums.

Jonathan brings a unique perspective to his writing that marries a systems view of the topic, fascination with the technology, passion for space exploration, and deep respect for the people who make it all happen. He holds an MS in Systems Management from the University of Denver and a BS in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is professionally certified as an executive coach by the International Coach Federation, and serves on the adjunct faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership. His professional experience includes extensive work with leadership teams and several years with Boeing on the Space Station Freedom program.

Jonathan and his wife Jane now reside in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is fiercely proud of his two grown children and their families, and he wishes they lived closer to him. He maintains a website to document his research on the Apollo era at Kennedy Space Center. He collects and restores artifacts from the Apollo era, including several control panels from the Firing Rooms. Jonathan also notes that he might possibly be the only current space author who has appeared on two GRAMMY-winning albums, which were recorded during his years as a Bass II section leader, soloist, and eventually president of The Washington Chorus.

Reviews

“This is a painstakingly researched and compiled book, with nearly 400 pages of finely detailed narrative plus appendices, covering the process of preparing, assembling and testing Apollo Moon rockets—boosters, command/service modules and lunar modules—at the Kennedy Space Center. … it is an enjoyable one. This carefully researched and lovingly written book merits a space on the bookshelf of any Apollo aficionado … .” (Rod Pyle, Quest Magazine, Vol. 23 (4), 2016)

“This book is organized into eleven chapters, each rich with original photographs, project schedules, flowcharts, and direct quotations from personal interviews with NASA employees. … It is a great read for space history and aerospace engineering enthusiasts, and finally gives a voice to those ‘nobodies’ who helped Apollo reach the Moon.” (Lisa Westwood, Quest Magazine, Vol. 23 (4), 2016)

“This book covers launch preparations for Apollo launches … . This is a fine, fun read with lots of information, especially about coordination and testing. … This book is recommended for anyone with an interest in space and the American space program, but it also contains a wealth of information that could be of interest and use for engineering students and those interested in organizational systems and processes.” (Jeffrey Putnam, Computing Reviews, December, 2015)


Table of contents (11 chapters)

Table of contents (11 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $39.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-17792-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $49.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-17791-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Countdown to a Moon Launch
Book Subtitle
Preparing Apollo for Its Historic Journey
Authors
Series Title
Space Exploration
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-17792-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-17792-2
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-17791-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXVI, 435
Number of Illustrations
193 b/w illustrations, 78 illustrations in colour
Topics