July 16, 2019 will be the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, celebrating an incredible decade in science history. In Eight Years to the Moon, unique personal stories of NASA engineers and MIT computer experts are interwoven with Nancy’s gripping style to tell the story of Apollo 11 in a fresh and riveting way. Despite incredible hurdles and catastrophes, the employees of NASA made the impossible possible—creating new technology and completely reimagining space travel.
Nancy begins in 1962—when NASA had to build the Manned Spacecraft Center and space exploration first became a priority—and spans to the successful Apollo 11 mission. With firsthand accounts from Henry Pohl (director of engineering at Johnson Space Center), Glynn Lunney (Apollo flight director), and Frank Hughes (lead test engineer for the Apollo command and lunar module simulators), it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of what it was like. In the words of Henry Pohl when he saw his first rocket test launch, “When that thing lit off I had never seen such power in my life…I decided right then and there that’s what I wanted to be part of…” And he was far from alone.
Filled with stories from those involved and interviews with other Apollo experts, this is a book that will delight anyone who has ever looked up at the moon and wondered how we got there.
This book will have 125 full-color photographs.
About the Author
Nancy Atkinson is the editor and writer for Universe Today, a popular space and astronomy new site, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. She has written thousands of articles, and was the editor in chief for Space Lifestyle Magazine. She has also been published on Wired, Space, NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine and Space Times magazine. Nancy lives in Minnesota.
"Hundreds of thousands of unsung heroes were part of the Apollo program to reach the Moon, and Nancy Atkinson has meticulously researched and written about many of them here. She's a great storyteller and happily, Eight Years to the Moon takes us behind the scenes to many places we've never been before!"
--Peter King, correspondent, CBS News Radio Orlando/Kennedy Space Center
"Atkinson has seamlessly woven the stories of hidden figures and forgotten linchpins into a narrative that lets readers live through the missions."
--Sarah Scoles, science journalist and author of Making Contact: Jill Tarter and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
"Atkinson has achieved the nearly impossible task of writing a truly original and engaging narrative of the Apollo program, with little-known and rarely told details of what it took to put humans on the Moon. Highly recommended."
--Rod Pyle, space author, journalist and Editor-In-Chief, Ad Astra magazine
"Of nearly 400,000 people who worked on Project Apollo, we hear mostly about the handful of Apollo astronauts whose names will survive centuries into the future. But in this fascinating book, Nancy Atkinson introduces us to dozens of people, many of them engineers, who didn't make national headlines, yet were absolutely vital to the program. Her writing is based on an extensive collection of interviews that she conducted with many of the protagonists themselves, or with people who remembered them. Avoiding technical language, Nancy presents a captivating, behind-the-scenes history of Project Apollo that you will have trouble putting down."
--David Warmflash, MD, author of Moon: An Illustrated History: From Ancient Myths to the Colonies of Tomorrow
"Transportive...immersive." - Fahrenheit Pop Science Book Club
"Nancy Atkinson takes you deep into these events and many others in a very comfortable narrative style which is more personable than the somewhat stoic official recollections we've all read of those days...Highly recommended." - Keith Cowing, The Space Ref
"Atkinson's book is one of the best books published on Apollo." - Asif Siddiqi, Science
"What [Eight Years to the Moon] does, though, is remind readers that Apollo was more than just a few astronauts, politicians, and engineers usually discussed in the history of the program. An army of people worked out of the spotlight on elements that were small but essential to the success of the program, each with their own tales of trials and triumphs." - Jeff Foust, The Space Review