New Moon Books

Mission Control, This Is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon by Andrew Chaikin, with Victoria Kohl, Illustrated by Alan Bean. Reviewed by Marrianne Dyson.

Andrew Chaikin and Alan Bean are a powerful team for introducing the Apollo program to a new generation. Few authors can compete with Andrew Chaikin when it comes to telling the stories of Apollo, and Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean is the only artist who can paint the Moon with the passion of personal experience. The combination of their talents has produced Mission Control, This is Apollo, a book that will appeal to a much wider audience than the targeted 9-12 age group.

LOOK TO THE STARS By Buzz Aldrin, Paintings by Wendell Minor

CELEBRATE THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST MOON LANDING WITH THIS BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY THROUGH THE HISTORY OF SPACE EXPLORATION

2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon on July 20, 1969.
In LOOK TO THE STARS (G.P. Putnam’s Sons; 9780399247217; On sale May 14, 2009;
40 pages; Ages 6 up/Grades 1 up; $17.99) Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin – the second man to set foot on the moon — takes readers on a journey through the amazing history of the origins of flight and space exploration. Marvelous paintings by Wendell Minor bring the
journey to life.

Neil Armstrong’s Eloquent Words for Mankind Captured in Book that Details Intriguing and Unknown Story of Apollo 11 Lunar Landing

What influenced Neil Armstrong to utter his famous words, “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind?” Could it have been the “forward step for all mankind” theme that Willis Shapley, a largely unknown figure at NASA, proposed to decision makers in February 1969? Exactly 40 years later, that is one of the topics that is explored in the acclaimed book “We Came in Peace for all Mankind: The Untold Story of the Apollo 11 Silicon Disc” by Tahir Rahman. Rahman, a space author, plans a book signing tour that kicks off at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum this summer.

Is NASA Missing the Point of the VSE?

Return to the Moon: Outpost or sorties? By Dr. Paul D. Spudis.

In the question and answer period, he made a rather startling statement to the effect NASA was still trying to understand what “lunar return” means – that an outpost would be “expensive” and that lunar return might instead entail a series of smaller scale sortie missions, similar to the later Apollo expeditions of the early 1970’s. He added that people should remember that the “original purpose” of the VSE was to prepare to go to Mars and other destinations.

I found this exchange fascinating because it suggests that NASA, as an executing entity, still doesn’t fully understand the nature of their mission to the Moon and to the extent that it is understood, they have transformed it into something very different from what the VSE actually said and what was intended.

NASA May Abandon Plans for Moon Base

NASA may abandon plans for moon base

NASA will probably not build an outpost on the moon as originally planned, the agency’s acting administrator, Chris Scolese, told lawmakers on Wednesday. His comments also hinted that the agency is open to putting more emphasis on human missions to destinations like Mars or a near-Earth asteroid.

NASA has been working towards returning astronauts to the moon by 2020 and building a permanent base there. But some space analysts and advocacy groups like the Planetary Society have urged the agency to cancel plans for a permanent moon base, carry out shorter moon missions instead, and focus on getting astronauts to Mars.

Under Scolese’s predecessor, Mike Griffin, the agency held firm to its moon base plans. But the comments by Scolese, who will lead NASA until President Barack Obama nominates the next administrator, suggest a shift in the agency’s direction. He spoke to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies of the House Committee on Appropriations.