Apollo's Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings

Apollo's Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings

by Roger D. Launius


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An all-encompassing look at the history and enduring impact of the Apollo space program

In Apollo's Legacy, space historian Roger D. Launius explores the many-faceted stories told about the meaning of the Apollo program and how it forever altered American society. The Apollo missions marked the first time human beings left Earth's orbit and visited another world, and thus they loom large in our collective memory. Many have detailed the exciting events of the Apollo program, but Launius offers unique insight into its legacy as seen through multiple perspectives. He surveys a wide range of viewpoints and narratives, both positive and negative, surrounding the program. These include the argument that Apollo epitomizes American technological—and political—progress; technological and scientific advances garnered from the program; critiques from both sides of the political spectrum about the program's expenses; and even conspiracy theories and denials of the program's very existence. Throughout the book, Launius weaves in stories from important moments in Apollo's history to draw readers into his analysis. Apollo's Legacy is a must-read for space buffs interested in new angles on a beloved cultural moment and those seeking a historic perspective on the Apollo program.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588346490
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 223,723
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

ROGER D. LAUNIUS is former associate director of collections and curatorial affairs at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. From 1990 to 2002, he served as chief historian of NASA. He has authored and coauthored numerous books, including The Smithsonian History of Space Exploration.

Table of Contents

Prologue: July 20, 1969 xi

1 Versions of Reality 1

2 A Moment in Time 8

3 The Most Powerful Technology Ever Conceived 24

4 Heroes in a Vacuum 53

5 Ex Luna, Scientia 76

6 Apollo Imagery and Vicarious Exploration 99

7 Applying Knowledge from Apollo to This-World Problems 120

8 Apollo and the Religion of Spaceflight 138

9 Abandoned in Place 150

10 Denying the Apollo Moon Landings 166

Conclusion: Remembering Apollo 190

Acknowledgments 205

Notes 207

Annotated Bibliography 223

Index 231

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