Fifty years ago, Christmas 1968, Man first orbited the Moon. This book tells the inside story of that epic journey.
In early 1968, the Apollo programme was on shaky footing. President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline to put a man on the Moon was in jeopardy, and the Soviets were threatening to pull ahead in the space race.
By August 1968, with its back against the wall, NASA decided to scrap its usual methodical approach and shoot for the heavens. With just four months to prepare, the agency would send the first men in history to the Moon.
Focusing on three heroic astronauts and their families, this vivid, gripping narrative shows anew the epic danger and singular bravery it took for Man to leave Earth for the first time — and to arrive at a new world.
‘In 1968 we sent men to the Moon. They didn’t leave bootprints, but it was the first time humans ever left Earth for another destination. That mission was Apollo 8. And Rocket Men, under Robert Kurson's compelling narrative, is that under-told story.’
Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of Space Chronicles: facing the ultimate frontier
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‘Robert Kurson takes us on mankind’s first trip to the moon in 1968, another time when it seemed America was tearing itself apart. But on Christmas Eve, we raised our eyes skyward and were inspired by the bravery and eloquence of the three Apollo 8 astronauts as they orbited the moon and reminded us of our common humanity.’
Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, author of Highest Duty
‘This is the story of the most consequential and daring voyage since those in the era of Columbus, the Apollo 8 mission to the moon. The tale is told with the care and clarity, and the heart-banging drama, that Robert Kurson’s legion of readers have come to expect from him. A flat-out terrific book.’
Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent and Testimony
‘As a Rocket Woman myself, I know very well the story of Apollo 8, and yet I couldn’t put this book down … Kurson presents not only the challenges, risks, ambition, and success of Apollo 8, but a story of human spirit.’
Nicole Stott, NASA ISS and space shuttle astronaut
'With Rocket Men, Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy, expertly capturing the urgency and suspense behind the mission that gave America the lead in the Space Race.'
Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian and Artemis
'Gripping … Space buffs will enjoy this accessible and engaging account of human ingenuity and exploration.'