Saturday, July 18, 2009

Five best insider accounts of the moon landings

Harrison H. Schmitt, a former U.S. senator for New Mexico and, as Apollo 17’s geologist and lunar-module pilot, the last man to step on the moon, is the author of Return to the Moon: Exploration, Enterprise and Energy and the Human Settlement of Space.

For the Wall Street Journal, he named a five best list of insider accounts of the Apollo moon landings. One title on his list:
Carrying the Fire
by Michael Collins
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1974

“I have been places and done things you simply would not believe,” writes Apollo 11 astronaut Mike Collins near the end of “Carrying the Fire.” That observation reflects my own memories of exploring the moon’s Valley of Taurus-Littrow. Forty years ago, ­Collins spent the day alone in lunar ­orbit as the command-module pilot while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explored the moon’s surface. Collins ultimately gave us arguably the best personal story by an astronaut, capturing all the hard work, family interactions and excitement of being in the group of men who would be the public face of Apollo. They and all with whom they worked believed, correctly, that this was the most important contribution they could make with their lives.
Read about the other four books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue