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40th Anniversary Photographic Retrospective

By John Lester - © 2009

Type: Softbound, 108pp, 250 color and 50 b/w photos, ISBN: 1580071481, compiled by Dennis R. Jenkins and Jorge R. Frank
MSRP: $16.95 USD (~$ 18.24 CAN/ 11.81 EUR) in softcover available from Specialty Press
Overall Rating: 10 - a treasure trove of visual reference

Just over 40 years ago (as I write this) the world sat on the edge of its seat, waiting to hear "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." The craft carrying the first humans to set foot on Earth's Moon had just touched down on its surface.

Specialty Press' latest photojoural chronicles that event from inception to succesful completion.

The book is divided into the following chapters:

  • Introduction - includes suggested reading
  • The Apollo Program - includes historical background and an overview of the major hardware components
  • Crew Training - everything from learning to collect rock samples to flying the various simulators
  • To the Moon - assembling the components through launch
  • The Lunar Surface - trans-Lunar coast, landing, and return ascent
  • Returning Heroes - splashdown, quarantine, parades and research
  • Going Back - a brief look at proposed future lunar landings

Each chapter is prefaced by text describing the sequence of events covered. That's followed by page after page of photos - most in color - covering every stage. It's all there - from picking up rocks in the desert to the simulators to the parades upon return. All the major hardware components are covered with enough detail for all but the most die-hard super-detailer. The text is simple and direct, and perfectly complements and explains the photos, charts and diagrams.

As with other books from this publisher, the photos and text are crisply printed on good quality, glossy paper. The photos in particular show no degredation in quality from being reprinted/resized to fit the book.


The Apollo 11 mission, let alone the whole program, was a hugely complex endeavour - and so, kind of hard to cover all aspects in one slim volume. Dennis Jenkins and Jorge Frank have come as close to comprehensive as possible given the size and scope of this book. It is a great reference for the space enthusiast and model builder alike, with enough meat to satisfy most of both groups.

Highly recommended!

Many thanks to the folks at Specialty Press for the review sample.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2009 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 4 August 2009.