Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth

Category: Historical
Author: Andrew Smith
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by japhyr   2021-05-01
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.


by japhyr   2019-07-19
> 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.