On May 20, 1969, the thirty-story-high Apollo 11-Saturn V spaceship was trundled from Cape Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building to Pad 39A for its final inspection and countdown. The nearly 1 million spectators who began gathering at Cape Kennedy for launch on July 16, 1969, were kept at least 3.5 miles away from the pad because, in an explosion, hundred-pound chunks of shrapnel would be hurled in a 3-mile radius. Finally, at 9:32 a.m., Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins lifted into the skies on the greatest adventure in modern history: the first trip to the Moon.
Restoring the drama, majesty, and sheer improbability of an American triumph that has now come to be taken for granted, Rocket Men is the complete, definitive, and thrilling account of that glorious achievement. Through interviews, 23,000 pages of NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents on the space race, Craig Nelson offers a grippingly vivid and detailed narrative of the Apollo 11 mission.