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bok_rev_chin - BOOK REVIEW FIRST ON THE MOON: A VOYAGE TO...

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BOOK REVIEW FIRST ON THE MOON: A VOYAGE TO THE MOON WITH NEIL ARMSTRONG, MICHAEL COLLINS, AND EDWIN E. ALDRIN, JR. BY NEIL ARMSTRONG, MICHAEL COLLINS, AND EDWIN E. ALDRIN, JR. WITH GENE FARMER AND DORA JANE HAMBLIN MELANIE CHIN ENGINEERING APOLLO 16.895/ESD.30/STS.471 SPRING 2007
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BACKGROUND First on the Moon is a detailed account of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon and the three astronauts aboard. The book is ‘written’ by Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin, along ‘with’ Gene Farmer and Dora Jane Hamblin. Citing the three astronauts as the ‘authors’ is true to the extent that they provided the long passages of quotes that make up much of the book. In actuality, the quotations from Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin, as well as others peripherally related to the mission (families, other astronauts, NASA officials, etc.), were originally obtained for Life magazine’s features on the space program. Excerpts taken from these interviews are sequenced to fit into the defined chapters of the book, which was actually written by Life magazine editors Farmer and Hamblin. While narrative from all three astronauts is included, this book uniquely provides a glimpse of the mission to the moon from the perspective of Neil Armstrong, who was one of the few astronauts that did not publish his own memoir; both Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins went on to write their own books accounting their journeys onboard Apollo 11 ( Return to Earth and Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journey , respectively). SOURCES Large portions of the book are in essence, biographical accounts of the astronauts, with information about and anecdotes from their childhood upbringings, educations, and careers prior to astronautics. In addition, special attention is paid to their spouses; comprehensive accounts are given of how each astronaut met his respective wife and the activities of Joan Aldrin, Jan Armstrong, and Pat Collins during the eight days of the mission are described in great (almost excruciating) detail. Given that most of the information was gathered by Life journalists and intended for publication in Life helps to explain why minutiae such as “Pat Collins started her Saturday with a nine-thirty appointment for a hair shampoo and set,” 1 are included. The astronauts were celebrities; public fascination with the men extended into their personal and family lives. That their wives engaged in ‘common’ errands like going to the hairdresser or the
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course AERO 16.872 taught by Professor Danielhastings during the Fall '03 term at MIT.

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bok_rev_chin - BOOK REVIEW FIRST ON THE MOON: A VOYAGE TO...

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