10 Must Read Apollo-Era Books (2000 — Present)

Make sure to add these 10 Apollo-era books to your reading list, enjoy!

Looking for a new Apollo-era book to read? You’ll want to check out these 10 published after 1999.

Whether you’re a seasoned space history-buff or just interested in learning more about the Apollo program, you will find these book interesting and entertaining!

Have a favorite Apollo-era book? Send me book suggestions on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn!

The books on the list include, autobiographies, photographic-binds and more. Make sure to add all of these to your reading list, enjoy!

#10 — The Apollo Program: The History and Legacy of America’s Most Famous Space Missions

Author — Charles River Editors 
Published— 2015

Book description — “Includes pictures *Chronicles the Apollo program from beginning to end, profiling Apollo 1, Apollo 11, and Apollo 13 *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents The Apollo space program is the most famous and celebrated in American history, but the first successful landing of men on the Moon during Apollo 11 had complicated roots dating back over a decade, and it also involved one of NASA’s most infamous tragedies. Landing on the Moon presented an ideal goal all on its own, but the government’s urgency in designing the Apollo program was actually brought about by the Soviet Union, which spent much of the 1950s leaving the United States in its dust (and rocket fuel).” — read more here.

Buy a copy here.

#9 — Destination Moon

Credit: Amazon

Author — Rod Pyle
Published — 2005

Book description — The Apollo space program was the largest technological undertaking of all time, and let to the greatest adventure of the 20th century. Born of the cold war, it was moved forward by the passion of 100,000 workers and $20 billion over ten years. Over that time, 12 courageous individuals stepped out onto the lunar surface and thus changed the history of humankind, changing us into a space-faring civilization. And then, it was gone. Three years, 9 missions, six men on the surface of the moon. They explored, they experimented, and they came home. Here in one volume are the transcripted voices of the partipants, with expert commentary and retrospective reminiscences, explained and put into context. — read more here.

Grab a copy here.

#8 — Apollo Pilot: The Memoir of Astronaut Donn Eisele (Outward Odyssey: A People’s History of Spaceflight)

Author — by Donn Eisele , Francis French (Editor), Susan Eisele Black (Afterword)
Published — 2017

Book description — “In October 1968 Donn Eisele flew with fellow astronauts Walt Cunningham and Wally Schirra into Earth orbit in Apollo 7. The first manned mission in the Apollo program and the first manned flight after a fire during a launch pad test killed three astronauts in early 1967, Apollo 7 helped restart NASA’s manned-spaceflight program.

Known to many as a goofy, lighthearted prankster, Eisele worked his way from the U.S. Naval Academy to test pilot school and then into the select ranks of America’s prestigious astronaut corps. He was originally on the crew of Apollo 1 before being replaced due to injury. After that crew died in a horrific fire, Eisele was on the crew selected to return Americans to space. Despite the success of Apollo 7, Eisele never flew in space again, as divorce and a testy crew commander led to the three astronauts being labeled as troublemakers.” — read more here.

Discover a copy here.

#7 — Moonshots and Snapshots of Project Apollo: A Rare Photographic History

Author — John Bisney, J.L. Pickeringed
Published — 2015

Book description — “In this companion volume to their extraordinary book of rare photographs from the Mercury and Gemini missions, John Bisney and J. L. Pickering present the rest of the Golden Age of US manned space flight with a photographic history of Project Apollo. Beginning in 1967, Moonshots and Snapshots of Project Apollo chronicles the program’s twelve missions and its two follow-ons, Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. The authors again draw from rarely seen NASA, industry, and news media images, taking readers to the Moon, on months-long odysseys above Earth, and finally on the first international manned space flight in 1975.”— read more here.

Explore a copy here.

#6— Countdown to a Moon Launch: Preparing Apollo for Its Historic Journey

Credit: Amazon.com

Author — Jonathan H. Ward
Published —2015

Book description — “Thousands of workers labored at Kennedy Space Center around the clock, seven days a week, for half a year to prepare for the liftoff of Apollo 11. This is the story of what went on during those hectic six months. Countdown to a Moon Launch provides an in-depth look at the carefully choreographed workflow for an Apollo mission at KSC. Using the Apollo 11 mission as an example, readers will learn what went on day by day to transform partially completed stages and crates of parts into a ready-to-fly Saturn V. Firsthand accounts of launch pad accidents, near misses, suspected sabotage, and last-minute changes to hardware are told by more than 70 NASA employees and its contractors. A companion to Rocket Ranch, it includes many diagrams and photographs, some never before published, to illustrate all aspects of the process. NASA’s groundbreaking use of computers for testing and advanced management techniques are also covered in detail. ” — read more here.

Start your Apollo journey here.

#5 — Falling to Earth: An Apollo 15 Astronaut’s Journey to the Moon

Author — Al Worden, Francis French
Published — 2012

Book description — “Command module pilot for the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971, Al Worden flew on what is widely regarded as the greatest exploration mission that humans have ever attempted. He spent six days orbiting the moon, including three days completely alone, the most isolated human in existence. During the return from the moon to earth he also conducted the first spacewalk in deep space, becoming the first human ever to see both the entire earth and moon simply by turning his head. The Apollo 15 flight capped an already-impressive career as an astronaut, including important work on the pioneering Apollo 9 and Apollo 12 missions, as well as the perilous flight of Apollo 13.” — read more here.

Fun Fact — I sat down with Al Worden to talk about this book. Check out the interview on my old website here.

Read the book here.

#4 — A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts

Author — Andrew Chaikin, Tom Hanks (Foreword)
Published — 2007

Book description — “This acclaimed portrait of heroism and ingenuity captures a watershed moment in human history. The astronauts themselves have called it the definitive account of their missions. On the night of July 20, 1969, our world changed forever when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Based on in-depth interviews with twenty-three of the twenty-four moon voyagers, as well as those who struggled to get the program moving, A Man on the Moon conveys every aspect of the Apollo missions with breathtaking immediacy and stunning detail.” — read more here.

Buy here.

#3 — The Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America’s Race in Space

Author — Eugene Cernan , Donald Davis 
Published — 2000

Book description — “Eugene Cernan was a unique American who came of age as an astronaut during the most exciting and dangerous decade of spaceflight. His career spanned the entire Gemini and Apollo programs, from being the first person to spacewalk all the way around our world to the moment when he left man’s last footprint on the Moon as commander of Apollo 17. Between those two historic events lay more adventures than an ordinary person could imagine as Cernan repeatedly put his life, his family and everything he held dear on the altar of an obsessive desire— read more here

Grab this one here.

#2 — Magnificent Desolation

Author — Buzz Aldrin, Ken Abraham
Published — 2009

Book description — “Forty years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second human, minutes after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on a celestial body other than the Earth. The event remains one of mankind’s greatest achievements and was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history. In the years since, millions more have had their Earth-centric perspective unalterably changed by the iconic photograph of Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon, the blackness of space behind him and his fellow explorer and the Eagle reflected in his visor. Describing the alien world he was walking upon, he uttered the words ‘magnificent desolation.’ — read more here.

Grab a 1st Ed 1st Pr PSA/DNA AUTOGRAPHED here!

#1 — Failure Is Not an Option

Author — Gene Kranz
Published — 2000

Book description — “This memoir of a veteran NASA flight director tells riveting stories from the early days of the Mercury program through Apollo 11 (the moon landing) and Apollo 13, for both of which Kranz was flight director. Gene Kranz was present at the creation of America’s manned space program and was a key player in it for three decades. As a flight director in NASA’s Mission Control, Kranz witnessed firsthand the making of history. He participated in the space program from the early days of the Mercury program to the last Apollo mission, and beyond. He endured the disastrous first years when rockets blew up and the United States seemed to fall further behind the Soviet Union in the space race. He helped to launch Alan Shepard and John Glenn, then assumed the flight director’s role in the Gemini program, which he guided to fruition.” — read more here.

Enjoy the book here.

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“A typical smart phone has more computing power than Apollo 11 when it landed a man on the moon.” — Nancy Gibbs

*Full disclaimer: Some of the links in this blog are affiliate links, which means if you decided to make a purchase I will receive a small commission at, no additional cost to you. All of the links I provided are from the trusted Amazon.com website.

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