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The Eagle Has Landed: Books on the Space Race

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Space race

Bellaire librarian Mary Cohrs shares books on the historic space race.

Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.

“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” These words, spoken by the first astronaut to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong, on July 20, 1969, always brings a sense of pride in me when I read them. Not only because of the Houston connection, of course, but these words will always remind me that I was there, albeit in front of a television.

The space race was real in the late 1960s and astronauts were our superheroes and celebrities of the day. NASA was just down the road and the space program was always in the news and magazines. Television brought these heroes into our homes each time there was a space launch.

The 50th anniversary of this historic event will occur next summer and NASA has planned a year of celebrations leading up to July 20, 1969. There are a number of titles that will help you understand the events that led up to that moment. Travelling to space seems routine these days, but these books will help you understand the intensity of the time.

David West Reynolds – Apollo: the epic journey to the moon. A summary of the key events and personalities of the Apollo program.

Tom Wolfe – The Right Stuff. This well-known work profiles NASA's first astronaut class and was made into a movie of the same name.

Any of the titles below will help you to prepare for the celebration next year:

Andrew Chaikin – A man on the moon: the triumphant story of the Apollo Space Program

Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox – Apollo: The race to the moon

Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton – Moon Shot: The inside story of America’s race to the moon

Buzz Aldrin and Malcolm McConnell – Men From Earth

Craig Nelson – Rocket Men

Rod Pyle – Destination Moon: The Apollo Missions in the Astronauts’ own words (Smithsonian books)

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