The first moon landing in July 1969 captured the imagination of the world in a way that no subsequent 'space spectacular' has succeeded in doing. Forty years later, Piers Bizony has produced a stunning, comprehensive visual record of the mission using high-resolution images selected from the entire suite of Apollo 11's on-board film magazines. The picture section, which makes up the second half of the book shows the launch, the astronauts' lives inside the Apollo spacecraft, the landing and moon walk, and finally the return to earth and the worldwide celebrations. Visually, every significant moment is covered. Many images are included that have not featured in the general histories of Apollo published before. The superb illustrations are supplemented by an essay written in a lively and engaging style by space historian Piers Bizony, explaining Apollo's contemporary cultural and emotional impact from the perspective of today. Quotes from astronauts, scientists and literary celebrities add an extra dimension of originality and boldness to the presentation of this book. As Bizony explains, Apollo 11 may have happened a long time ago, but it still casts an important shadow over today's generation. Can we live up to it and learn from it, or even, repeat its achievements with new spacecraft? It is tempting to imagine that our advanced modern society should be capable of going back to the moon. In fact, Apollo was a strange and unexpected event that cannot easily be replayed. The world has moved on, and although our technology has advanced in leaps and bounds since 1969, there are certain skills and social attitudes, common to the men and women of Apollo, that we seem to have lost. One Giant Leap will lead modern readers to think about Apollo in an entirely new way.
Piers Bizony has written about science, aerospace and cosmology for a wide variety of magazines in the UK and the US. His previous books include 2001: Filming the Future, The Rivers of Mars (shortlisted for the NASA/Eugene M. Emme Award for Astronautical Writing), Starman (a biography of Yuri Gargarin, also a BBC TV programme) and Space: 50, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and HarperCollins, marking the 50th anniversary of Sputnik. His latest project, Atom, will tie-in with a major BBC TV series on the discovery of quantum physics.