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From the reviews: "shayler's painstaking research shines through on evey fact-laden page.  Photographs, charts and diagrams litter each chapter, helping to build up a comprehensive picture of rarely  reported plans, dreams and opportunities.  If you have any interest in the history of space exploaration, and particulary manned programmes, then this book is something to treasure."

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 star

Another good volume from David Shayler, June 5, 2005

David Shayler is an extremely knowledgeable and prolific author, and I always enjoy reading his work.  This book is filled with enormous amounts of extraordinarily obscure information on the Apollo program. The book is frustrating to read, though, because as an Apollo enthusiast I think the costs saved by canceling Apollo 18 through 20 were a pittance compared to the potential reward forfeited, especially given the enormous fixed costs already spent on the program. The book is, at times, rather (necessarily) speculative, especially in the area of crew complement, inasmuch as Deke Slayton had not announced firm crews for the final missions. I found the book rather tedious in this respect on occasion, and beyond a general discussion of crew rotation and who the front runners for the seats were, could have dispensed with a bit of the more esoteric speculation.

The strongest point of the book for me was, unsurprisingly, also the least speculative, namely the excellent coverage of the planned Apollo 1 and Apollo 13 mission profiles. I had never known much about the Apollo 1 (actually referred to as AS-204 at the time) mission, and had always understood it to be a near duplicate of the later Apollo 7, though it was altered in several ways. Likewise, most people assume that Apollo 14 was the successful version of the Apollo 13 Fra Mauro landing, although there were differences there as well.

Springer-Praxis and David Shayler have a lot to be proud of, and I recommend this book to the Apollo historian who has read extensively on the subject. It is a very worthwhile book, and I am grateful to have it. 
2nd Review
5.0 out of 5 stars
What's more interesting is the future designs . . ., January 17, 2005.

Shayler's work is readable and informative and given the nature of what he is doing -- laying out what the missing moon missions were going to achieve -- it is just a little speculative.

However, what is more interesting to me, in light of NASA's current plans that could get astronauts back on the moon, is the design studies and the diagrams of improved Saturn's, six-man lunar capsules and lunar bases. You see the plans were already there to have men and women living on the moon by the mid 1970s and a landing on Mars by 1985. Politics and lack of interest killed those plans.

This book is not just limited to the last three canned Apollo missions -- 18, 19, and 20 -- he shows what Apollo 1 was set for before the fire killed its crew and what Apollo 13 would have done if the exploding tank had not aborted that mission.

This is another win for the Praxis-Springer series because it stands alone as a good book and makes a good teaching tool.  

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