One Giant Leap

One Giant Leap

The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon

Book - 2019
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"President John F. Kennedy astonished the world on May 25, 1961, when he announced to Congress that the United States should land a man on the Moon by 1970. No group was more surprised than the scientists and engineers at NASA, who suddenly had less than a decade to invent space travel. When Kennedy announced that goal, no one knew how to navigate to the Moon. No one knew how to build a rocket big enough to reach the Moon, or how to build a computer small enough (and powerful enough) to fly a spaceship there. No one knew what the surface of the Moon was like, or what astronauts could eat as they flew there. On the day of Kennedy's historic speech, America had a total of fifteen minutes of spaceflight experience--with just five of those minutes outside the atmosphere. Russian dogs had more time in space than U.S. astronauts. Over the next decade, more than 400,000 scientists, engineers, and factory workers would send 24 astronauts to the Moon. Each hour of space flight would require one million hours of work back on Earth to get America to the Moon on July 20, 1969. Fifty years later, One Giant Leap is the sweeping, definitive behind-the-scenes account of the furious race to complete one of mankind's greatest achievements. It's a story filled with surprises--from the item the astronauts almost forgot to take with them (the American flag), to the extraordinary impact Apollo would have back on Earth, and on the way we live today. Charles Fishman introduces readers to the men and women who had to solve 10,000 problems before astronauts could reach the Moon. From the research labs of MIT, where the eccentric and legendary pioneer Charles Draper created the tools to fly the Apollo spaceships, to the factories where dozens of women sewed spacesuits, parachutes, and even computer hardware by hand, Fishman captures the exceptional feats of these ordinary Americans. One Giant Leap is the captivating story of men and women charged with changing the world as we knew it--their leaders, their triumphs, their near disasters, all of which led to arguably the greatest success story, and the greatest adventure story, of the twentieth century."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2019
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781501106293
1501106295
Branch Call Number: 629.454 P94374F 2019
Characteristics: xiii, 464 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

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StarGladiator
Jul 10, 2019

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
____________________________________________________________________
Many years ago, a highly intelligent and prescient president, who had little or no interest in space travel - - difficult for some of us to fathom - - established a goal to put a man on the Moon within the decade.
With 400,000 personnel, 20,000 companies and some inhumanly dedicated humans, this goal was realized!
What President John F. Kennedy said publicly at meetings - - that we must beat the Soviets to the Moon - - privately he explained to his closest aides that the nation needed a colossal R & D program to spur progress - - and that was exactly what occurred!
Massive technological/scientific advances in digital electronics, computer science, global communications technology, remote Earth sensing for resources discovery and weather prediction, biomedical engineering, advanced life-saving medical instrumentation, materials science, biophysics, polymer chemistry and, yes, even instant orange juice!
I would require years to list and explain all those technological advances leading up to the somewhat Syd Mead future we exist in today.
Of course, many still fail to grasp this. As Ray Kurzweil has noted, progress is exponential, not linear, and why so many fail to grasp this is mystifying? Scientist Norbert Wiener couldn't grasp this, scholar Amitai Etzioni couldn't either, and if memory serves correctly, I believe it was von Neumann who once scoffed at any possible uses for laser technology!
President Kennedy, whom I believe to be our last true democratic president, was essentially a humanist who believed in and embraced progress. He halted foreign aid to at least seven countries who had pledged to move forward to democracy from their military dictatorships, but failed to do so! His administration halted the deportations of Iranian critics of the Shah back to Iran for torture and worse [which began under Eisenhower]; he negotiated a fair deal with Indonesia on their oil, as opposed to Eisenhower before, and Johnson after, who both unleashed the CIA and their mercenaries and kill squads so that their rivers ran red from the victims' blood!
From JFK to Tranquility Base, we have much to be grateful for - - let us not forget that or be easily dissuaded and duped by false revisionists!
____________________________________________________________________________
President John F. Kennedy's We Choose To Go To The Moon speech at Rice University:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZyRbnpGyzQ
http://sydmead.com/gallery/

s
StarGladiator
Jul 10, 2019

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
____________________________________________________________________
Many years ago, a highly intelligent and prescient president, who had little or no interest in space travel - - difficult for some of us to fathom - - established a goal to put a man on the Moon within the decade.
With 400,000 personnel, 20,000 companies and some inhumanly dedicated humans, this goal was realized!
What President John F. Kennedy said publicly at meetings - - that we must beat the Soviets to the Moon - - privately he explained to his closest aides that the nation needed a colossal R & D program to spur progress - - and that was exactly what occurred!
Massive technological/scientific advances in digital electronics, computer science, global communications technology, remote Earth sensing for resources discovery and weather prediction, biomedical engineering, advanced life-saving medical instrumentation, materials science, biophysics, polymer chemistry and, yes, even instant orange juice!
I would require years to list and explain all those technological advances leading up to the somewhat Syd Mead future we exist in today.
Of course, many still fail to grasp this. As Ray Kurzweil has noted, progress is exponential, not linear, and why so many fail to grasp this is mystifying? Scientist Norbert Wiener couldn't grasp this, scholar Amitai Etzioni couldn't either, and if memory serves correctly, I believe it was von Neumann who once scoffed at any possible uses for laser technology!
President Kennedy, whom I believe to be our last true democratic president, was essentially a humanist who believed in and embraced progress. He halted foreign aid to at least seven countries who had pledged to move forward to democracy from their military dictatorships, but failed to do so! His administration halted the deportations of Iranian critics of the Shah back to Iran for torture and worse [which began under Eisenhower]; he negotiated a fair deal with Indonesia on their oil, as opposed to Eisenhower before, and Johnson after, who both unleashed the CIA and their mercenaries and kill squads so that their rivers ran red from the victims' blood!
From JFK to Tranquility Base, we have much to be grateful for - - let us not forget that or be easily dissuaded and duped by false revisionists!
____________________________________________________________________________
President John F. Kennedy's We Choose To Go To The Moon speech at Rice University:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZyRbnpGyzQ
http://sydmead.com/gallery/

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