"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
More than a billion people heard this terse message from the surface of the Moon July 20th, 1969. It was a singular moment for humankind, and the world was united in awe at the enormity of the accomplishment. Nowhere was the jubilation greater than in Mission Control near Houston where Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton watched history unfold and led the cheering as it did.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first American in space, Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Apollo Moon Landings (e-riginal; Open Road Integrated Media; May 2, 2011) will be republished as an enhanced ebook, including embedded video and new, untold stories about America's adventures during the Apollo flights. Co-authors Alan Shepard and Chief Astronaut Deke Slayton were at the very heart of America's efforts to tame space. There was quite simply, no one more qualified to write this compelling account of victories won and defeats endured by a small, but remarkable, group of humans. And there is no one more qualified to update this seminal work than Jay Barbree, the only journalist to cover every American space flight. In the new edition, Barbree includes never before known or told stories of Apollo missions and offers his thoughts of the state of the American space program today.
When Shepard and the other Apollo astronauts walked on the moon, an entire generation was not alive, and millions more were just children whose hazy memories likely involve watching snowy television pictures in black and white. Since these heroic accomplishments are far too important to be forgotten, the families of Shepard and Slayton, Barbree, along with Open Road Integrated Media decided a re-release was in order.
The joint effort is a heroic one. It is an effort to keep history alive, to remind the world of the incredible accomplishments that America made in its space program.
Authors Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton were members of the Mercury Seven, America's original astronauts. Shepard was the first American in space who would later with his partner Edgar Mitchell take the longest walk - two miles - on the moon. Slayton with astronauts Tom Stafford and Vance Brand would fly the historic first space docking with the Russians, a step that took a long stride to end the Cold War.
Shepard and Slayton wrote Moon Shot, and as the 25th anniversary of the first moon landing approached, they released their book detailing space flight's successes: the first missions, the first spacewalk, the first orbital rendezvous and docking, and how twelve walked the lunar surface. Within the same pages were also the failures: the masterful saving by astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott of an out-of-control Gemini 8, the Apollo One launch pad fire that killed Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chafee, the split-second decision to land Apollo 11 on the moon despite overloaded computers and low fuel, and the Herculean "failure is no option" effort to save the crippled Apollo 13.
Soon Moon Shot was being called "the bible of the space age." It became a four-hour television hit and made the New York Times and other major bestseller lists while being published in eight countries.
The new Moon Shot takes you to the moon - in a digital version, in video and with never before released content about the space program. If this is your first read, you'll be riveted. If you experienced the original book, the new version will be, in the words of all great space explorers, "the damnedest trip you'll ever take."
Jay Barbree is a New York Times bestselling author, a finalist to be the first journalist in space, and the only reporter to cover all astronaut flights before the 2011 hiatus. His space team received an Emmy Award for its work broadcasting America's first moon landings. Barbree is the recipient of NASA's highest medal for public service, and he broke the cause of the Challenger disaster on Tom Brokaw's Nightly News. He lives in Florida.