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japhyr · 2021-04-28 · Original thread
For anyone interested in the story of the astronauts who went to the moon, Moondust is a great read. In the early 2000s (if I remember right), the author traveled around the world to visit each of the living men who had set foot on the moon. He asks them about their experiences, both on the moon and in the time since the moon missions ended. Some of them treat him like any interviewer, but toward the end as they realize he has actually connected all of their stories once again, they share a bit more than what comes out in typical interviews.

It's a wonderful blending of life in the world at that time, the story of our collective quest to reach the moon, and the individual stories of humans who actually went there.


japhyr · 2019-07-16 · Original thread
> No one - not even NASA - realized the obvious at the time; the astronauts were never going to be human beings after their moon walks. They were going to be such and such who walked on the moon.

Some of this inability to foresee the impacts on the lives of these astronauts happened because going to the moon was so much bigger than anything that had been done before. But I wonder how much of the long-term impacts also stems from the fact that we stopped going any farther than a low earth orbit. At the time of Apollo, I think everyone assumed we would keep going to the moon, and soon go beyond the moon. I don't think anyone anticipated that there'd only be twelve moonwalkers as of 2019. If we going to the moon was as commonplace now as people anticipated in the late 60s and early 70s, Neil Armstrong's fame probably would have been a lot more bearable. We wouldn't have to constantly ask the same 12 people what it's like to stand on the moon.

Have you read MoonDust? It's a book about exactly what you described, what it was like for these men to try and build a life on earth after having walked on the moon. It comes up in most threads about Apollo this summer, and it's a great read.

japhyr · 2019-05-14 · Original thread
I just finished Moondust, which is a really good read for anyone interested in the Apollo story. The author was a journalist working on a story about the Apollo astronauts, and he was interviewing one of the men who walked on the moon. During the interview the astronaut took a phone call, and came back a while later saying, "Now there's only nine of us." I believe it was Pete Conrad that had just died.

Shortly after that, the author (Andrew Smith) decided to go find each of the men who had walked on the moon, and ask them what they'd done with their lives since walking on the moon. It's a wonderful mix of his own recollections of growing up when Apollo was happening, each of the astronaut's personal backstories and recollections of what it was like to be at the center of the Apollo program, and what life has been like after walking on the moon.

I can't recommend it highly enough. It's being re-issued this summer for the 50th anniversary of the first landing, but you can also order the original version from 2005.

japhyr · 2019-03-21 · Original thread
You might be interested in a book called Moondust. The author realized in the early 2000s that at some point soon all of the astronauts who walked on the moon would be gone. He set out to interview each of them about their experiences at the time, and since visiting the moon.

It's a mix of space history and personal reflections on the perspective they got, that none of us will likely have.

japhyr · 2018-09-28 · Original thread
I am currently reading Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth, by Andrew Smith. Around 2002, he decided to track down all the people who walked on the moon and are still living, and ask the basic question, "What do you do after you've walked on the moon?"

It's a fascinating mix of personal stories, science, and a sense of what it was like for people from all parts of society to experience the moon frenzy of the late 60s/ early 70s.

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