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Book Review: Apollo 13 Owners’ Workshop Manual

Apollo 13 Owners’ Workshop Manual – An engineering insight into how NASA saved the crew of the failed Moon mission; Quayside publishing group/Zenith Press; Minneapolis, MN; $28.00; November 2013.

For those of you that didn’t experience the “real deal” in 1970 – beyond the great Ron Howard movie – you can’t do any better than this volume in reliving a true, edge-of-your-seat drama.

Writer and an original member of NASA’s Apollo 13 Houston Mission Control team, David Baker provides a technical and insightful account of NASA’s Apollo 13 mission.

This Haynes manual thoroughly describes the epic drama, the makeshift engineering, astonishing teamwork, and sheer will that brought three astronauts back from the near-death experience.

Within the book’s 190-plus pages, you’ll find a wonderful mix of drawings, black and white pictures, and some 250 color images.

As Baker points out, had the accident to Apollo 13 happened when Apollo 8 went to the Moon in 1968 – lacking a Lunar Module – that crew could not have survived. He also offers a dedicated look at what went wrong, along with fixes and consequences for Apollo 14.

The attention to detail in this book is first-rate. I’m positive you’ll get a new appreciation for the companies, the technicians and hardware that made it possible for humans to reach out and walk across the surface of the Moon.

Likewise, revisiting what it took to carry out the Apollo program underscores how difficult that challenge was – and what is needed to reawaken a human return to the Moon.

For more information on this book, go to:

By Leonard David


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