Apollo 11 Owners Manual Book Review
The Haynes Apollo 11 Owners Manual is an intriguing book and one of the first Haynes books to move away from the automotive sector. Don’t expect pages and pages of cross sectional diagrams of the Apollo 11 module and Saturn V rocket. There is much more to this book than that.
The first thing that hits you is the number of excellent colour photos and images that have been included in the Apollo 11 Owners’ Manual book.
The Apollo 11 Owners Manual begins with an introduction about the space race and how the Apollo 11 mission began as well as information on the Apollo 11 prime crew, backup crew and flight directors. There is then a chapter on the Saturn V rocket, which of course could not be left out of an Apollo 11 manual. This chapter includes information on Saturn 1, Saturn 1B, Saturn V and Apollo 4.
Following on we come to a chapter dedicated to the command and service modules. This includes information on electrical power, the life support systems, food, toilet stops, personal hygiene and what changes were made after the horrific fire which occurred during testing.
The guidance, navigation and control system gets it own chapter in the book and so does how communication was made from the moon. In the Lunar Module chapter the descent and ascent stages are discussed. There is also information about Apollo 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 and of course Apollo 11.
The important space suit get its own chapter as well, here they discuss the water cooled garment, the pressurised inner suit, the outer protective suit as well all the other parts of the suit in great details such as the helmet and visor, gloves and boots, life support backpacks. Not to be left out is the waste management side of things and food and drink.
In one of the last chapters there is information on the post-Apollo 11 missions with details on Apollo 12-14, Apollo 15-17 and Apollo 18-20. There is also few pages on the misconceptions and conspiracy theories that we did not actually go to the moon. The book also asks and answers the question “Why did we stop going to the moon?”
There are several appendices with a table on the Apollo missions, a field guide to the Apollo hardware, the timeline of the race to moon and a table on what happened to the Saturn V rocket stages from the 15 planned Apollo flights.
Overall the Apollo 11 Owners Manual is a brilliant book which does contain detailed drawings and cross sections of the Apollo spacecraft but it also has lots more to offer than that. There are early black and white pictures of the astronauts and in-depth details on each part of what made the Apollo missions a success. There are also some pleasing images from the lunar surface. If you are intrigued by the Apollo 11 spacecraft and the Apollo missions and want to learn what went into landing us on the moon so many times then this is a great read, highly recommended.