Found in 5 comments on Hacker News
Arainach · 2019-12-22 · Original thread
The best place to start is Apollo by Murray/Cox: Rather than focusing on the astronauts, this is very much a story of the engineering and management that made the project possible.

From someone who helped develop the lunar lander, there's Thomas J. Kelly's "Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module":

Another good book (so I've heard - I own a copy but haven't made time to read it yet) is Sunburst and Luminary by Don Eyles, who worked on the guidance system at MIT:

For deep technical details (but light on first-person stories), there's How Apollo Flew to the Moon:

Finally, not strictly related to the space race, but for some truly wonderful first-hand tales from the development of rocket propellants, you can't beat John D. Clark's Ignition!:

That is pretty much all there is: If earth was more massive, the chemical rockets we've been producing wouldn't have enough thrust-to-weight ratio to reach orbital velocity (about 25k km/h). We would have to load the rockets with so much fuel to break free of gravity that they would be too heavy to lift themselves.

This is all assuming yields and fuels we have now. If we lived on a more massive earth and we were trying to escape its gravity, I'm sure we'd be using more exotic and dangerous fuels (like all those fun fluorine and boron fuels Dr. Clark mentions in Ignition![0]) to do the job. We just happened to have the capability in the middle of the century to use a fuel we were already making (refined petroleum) for jet engines.


bigiain · 2019-07-14 · Original thread
You can get it on Kindle:

Well worth the money. I don't think I'd pay the $90+ people are asking for a hardcover version...

triplesec · 2019-02-21 · Original thread
This is probably the best book on how the professionals had fun building rockets back in the day. It's a gread read, and full of useful practical chemical engineering advice and cautionary tales. You might find PDFs, but you can also buy it here:

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