bok_rev_yamamoto

bok_rev_yamamoto - Namiko Yamamoto 16.895 Book Review March...

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Namiko Yamamoto 16.895 Book Review March 31 st , 2007 A Man on the Moon A Man on the Moon offers an excellent collection of the Apollo missions, mostly focusing on the astronauts’ point of views. The book was written by Andrew Chaikin, a science journalist, based on his hours of interviews with the Apollo astronauts and the people around them. Rather than seeing the Apollo astronauts as “perfect” figures, Chaikin reveals the astronauts’ characteristics and their relationships. He also tells the details of the events during each mission chronologically, almost as in the logbook. Each chapter describes the entire mission flow, including crew selection, mission preparation, flight operation, and the crew’ return to the earth. Such vast coverage would not be possible to be presented in the movies or the HBO TV series where only the highlights are shown. The book depicts the series of missions in order, and show the step-by-step progress towards lunar landing. This logbook style writing and the astronauts’ lively conversations in the book allow readers to share the excitement about the missions as if they were with the astronauts back in the prime time of lunar voyagers. This book gives great insights on the human dynamics, especially the ones between mission crew members. Three crew members spent much time preparing for their own lunar mission, and formed their own dynamics which was distinct from any other. For example, two missions, Apollo 8 and 13, were led by relatively strong leadership. This leadership role was played by Frank Borman in Apollo 8, the first lunar orbital mission with significance since the Apollo 1 tragedy, and by Jim Lovell in Apollo 13, the tragic mission followed by an amazing recovery. Meanwhile, the crews of Apollo 14 had a distinct team structure strongly affected by the authority figure, Alan Shepherd. There
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bok_rev_yamamoto - Namiko Yamamoto 16.895 Book Review March...

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