I’m not a believer in conspiracy theories, but if there was ever one I could understand, it’s people who doubt we ever landed on the moon. Because that’s an insane thing to think, right? That human beings that walked among us also walked on the moon. There’s a reason we call things like curing cancer a “moon shot.” It’s because going to the moon was a dream, something that yes, we fought for, but so many times it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. To be celebrating this accomplishment 50 years later feels like a dream sometimes. While I do truly believe we walked on the moon, it’s easy to imagine why people are so skeptical. It’s nothing short of amazing. The people who played a role in that deserve all of our attention on a day like today.

On July 20, 1969, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to land on the moon. On July 20, 2019, let’s take a look at some of the books written about that moment and the hard fought journey to get there.

American Moonshot by Douglas BrinkleyDrawing on new primary source material and major interviews with many of the surviving figures who were key to America’s success, Brinkley brings this fascinating history to life as never before. American Moonshot is a portrait of the brilliant men and women who made this giant leap possible, the technology that enabled us to propel men beyond earth’s orbit to the moon and return them safely, and the geopolitical tensions that spurred Kennedy to commit himself fully to this audacious dream. Brinkley’s ensemble cast of New Frontier characters include rocketeer Wernher von Braun, astronaut John Glenn and space booster Lyndon Johnson.

First Man by James R HansenWhen Apollo 11 touched down on the Moon’s surface in 1969, the first man on the Moon became a legend. In First Man, author James R. Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over fifty hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this “magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) is an unparalleled biography of an American icon.

Rocket Men by Robert KursonDrawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time—and arrive at a new world.

Landing Eagle by Michael EngleIn “Landing Eagle-Inside the Cockpit During the First Moon Landing”, author Mike Engle gives a minute by minute account of the events that occurred throughout Eagle’s descent and landing on the Moon. Engle, a retired NASA engineer and Mission Control flight controller, uses NASA audio files of actual voice recordings made inside Eagle’s cockpit during landing to give the reader an “inside the cockpit” perspective on the first Moon landing. Engle’s transcripts of these recordings, along with background material on the history and technical details behind the enormous effort to accomplish the first Moon landing, give a new and fascinating insight into the events that occurred on that remarkable day fifty years ago.

No Dream Is Too High by Buzz AldrinBeloved American hero and astronaut Buzz Aldrin reflects on the wisdom, guiding principles, and irreverent anecdotes he’s gathered—both in outer space and on earth—through his event-filled life, in this inspiring guide-to-life for the next generation.No Dream Is Too High is a beautiful memento, a thought-provoking set of ideas, and a new opportunity for Buzz Aldrin to connect with the masses of people who recognize his unique place in human history. 

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee ShetterlyStarting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.

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Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member