The story of Apollo has been told many times, but most accounts stop at the first landing. This book picks up where others have left off, and describes the five post-Apollo 11 Moon landings, defined as technical developments built upon engineering excellence. It was only through the robust design adopted when aerospace contractors first designed and built the Apollo spacecraft and the Lunar Module that successive evolutions were possible, taking lunar-landing operations far beyond what had first been envisaged.
This book is not intended to tell the full story of each mission, but rather to describe the technical development of spacecraft and equipment necessary to grow the capability from a single EVA (‘moonwalk’) of less than three hours, to advanced missions where astronauts spent three full working days exploring their landing sites. With the aid of a Lunar Roving Vehicle, they collected a wide variety of rocks and soil and left a range of instruments at the surface powered by a thermonuclear generator. As interest grows in humans returning to the Moon, 50 years on from those pioneering days of lunar exploration, we look again at what was accomplished at the dawn of the Space Age, spurred on by a political goal and developed as a tool for science.
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