01 October 2019 Reviews

Apollo 11 Owners’ Workshop Manual

The Apollo 11 Haynes Workshop Manual, a volume in a long-running series of space-related offerings from this publisher, provides a technical celebration of the first manned Moon mission. It is a “50th Anniversary Special Edition” of a book first published in 2009 and features an extra section providing “an insight into the legacy of Apollo”, including how it inspired such modern space visionaries as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

The book is well-produced, with colour photos and detailed line drawings based on original NASA documents, and maintains the feel of the early Haynes ‘spin-off’ manuals. One of the most impressive illustrations is a double-page spread of the Apollo command module instrument panel, with its hundreds of switches, gauges and circuit breakers. In fact the book as a whole is dense with illustrations and bombards the reader with the complexity of the Apollo hardware.

The text is well researched and written, and features a number of ‘bitesize’ boxes on crew members and specific technologies. There is even a double-page spread on “The missing A” in Armstrong’s famous speech (one small step for [a] man) based on analyses of the audio waveform from the original recording. In technical terms, it seems the jury is still out, but Armstrong’s own analysis is perhaps the most persuasive: “certainly the ‘a’ was intended, because that’s the only way the statement makes any sense”.

This book is an excellent guide to the technical challenge involved in putting a man on the Moon.

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