In the tiny cockpit of his Mercury capsule, Alan Shepard prepares to become the first American in space on May 5, 1961. Courtesy NASA and Andrew Chaikin
Dave Scott floats in the hatch of the command module Gumdrop during his spacewalk with Schweickart, who took this photo. Courtesy NASA and Andrew Chaikin
‘A superb account ... Apollo may be the only achievement by which our age is remembered a thousand years from now’
Arthur C. Clarke
Almost a decade in the writing, A Man on the Moon is the definitive story of the Apollo programme. Andrew Chaikin’s authoritative account is based on hundreds of hours of interviews with the astronauts, plus the scientists, engineers and flight controllers who shared every heartbeat of their voyages. This two-volume Folio Society edition features an exclusive new selection of photography, curated by the author from his personal archive, and sharp new scans of NASA films. It includes composite images created especially for this edition – something Chaikin discusses in a new preface to accompany the original foreword by Tom Hanks. It is the complete story of humankind’s greatest feat of exploration, from the deadly Apollo 1 capsule fire, the pioneering flight of Apollo 8 and Neil Armstrong’s ‘giant leap for mankind’, to near-catastrophe aboard Apollo 13 and the wide-ranging lunar explorations of the later missions.
Mount Hadley looms behind Irwin as he works at the Rover near the end of Apollo 15’s first moonwalk
Three-quarter bound in blocked cloth with printed paper front boards
Set in Apollo with Futura display
800 pages in total printed in colour and black & white
32 and 24 pages of colour plates, and an 8-page gate-fold in each volume, printed in colour and black & white
9¼” x 8¼″
This is the ultimate edition of Andrew Chaikin’s awe-inspiring history, featuring a unique selection of photography with many unpublished or rarely seen images. As well as nearly 200 colour and black-and-white photographs carefully placed within the text, it has glossy full-colour sections – including an eight-page fold-out in each volume – that show the superb images to their best advantage. NASA’s films from the Apollo programme were re-scanned with modern technology in the mid-2000s, delivering images of astonishing clarity. Using these and photographs from his own collection, Chaikin has created each image anew, fixing blemishes and seamlessly crafting new panoramas from multiple shots. By expertly matching each image to the text, he has given us a complete and unrivalled visual and verbal account of the Apollo missions. He writes: ‘The astronauts often said no camera could have captured what they saw, but I hope the images in this edition, combined with the stories of their missions, might get us just a little closer.’
A Man on the Moon spans the whole of the Apollo programme. With its exhilarating minute-by-minute accounts of the missions, Chaikin vividly captures what Tom Hanks calls the ‘romantic, epic, historic adventure of it all’. Yet it is far more than an adventure story: alongside the rush of lift-off and the agonising suspense of a lunar descent, we learn of the rivalry among astronauts to secure a seat, the burden on wives and families, and the backroom conflict between airmen and scientists. The book gives due weight to the Mercury and Gemini programmes that preceded Apollo, laying the groundwork for NASA to meet John F. Kennedy’s goal of a man on the moon before the decade’s end. It is equally strong on the often-overlooked later missions, which saw scientists and astronauts test the limits of lunar exploration and deliver geological insights that revolutionised our understanding of both the moon and our own planet.
Apollo 4, the first unmanned test of the Saturn V moon rocket, lifts off on 9 November 1967.
Andrew Chaikin is an American author, speaker and space journalist. He was born in 1956 and grew up in New York and studied geology at Brown University. He went on to work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA and was a researcher at the Smithsonian’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies before he became a science journalist in 1980. Chaikin has written numerous articles about space exploration and astronomy and is best known for his book A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts (1994, Folio 2021).
Born in California in 1956, Tom Hanks has won dozens of awards including two Academy Awards for Best Actor. He read A Man on the Moon in 1994 while preparing for his starring role as Jim Lovell in Apollo 13, released the following year, and met Andrew Chaikin during the filming. Hanks went on to produce a 12-part miniseries, From the Earth to the Moon, for HBO, based largely on Chaikin’s book. Released in 1998, From the Earth to the Moon won that year's Emmy for Best Miniseries. He remains a passionate space enthusiast.
The Right Stuff is an exhilarating flight into the death-defying lives of the Mercury Seven, America’s first astronauts. This Folio edition of Tom Wolfe’s classic features superb retro-styled colour illustrations by Tavis Coburn.
Parallel Worlds is Michio Kaku’s astonishing journey into the mysteries of our universe – and the tantalising possibility that many others may exist. Awe-inspiring images of the cosmos complete this Folio edition.
Compiled, written and edited by Peter Gillman for The Folio Society, Everest: From Reconnaissance to Summit is an exclusive record of five key expeditions, introduced by Wade Davis and Jan Morris with superlative photography from the Royal Geographical Society archives.