Gene Kranz was a military jet pilot. He joined the Mercury mission team so that he could be a part of putting a man on the moon. He worked with NASA for years. He would spend long periods of time away from his family. The Team had to build the entire system for NASA, and they were unable to have access to the technology today, so the process took years. The space race was being won by the Russians, and while the U.S. was blowing up the test rockets, the Russians were able to send a probe to the moon and had photographed the far side. While the U.S. was dealing with the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, the Russians had launched their first manned spacecraft into space. The U.S. was finally able to send Astronaut Alan Shepard into space. The Mercury team then worked on the Gemini missions. There were many Gemini missions and each were more developed. The Gemini 3 mission was the first time a man had walked in space. Many of the Gemini missions were unsuccessful, and second launches were made. In 1969, mission control was able to successfully have the first man land on the moon. In the same year, another spacecraft, Apollo 12, was launched for the moon. The next year Apollo 13 was launched with hopes to make it to the moon again. During the flight, mission control lost contact with the pilots and the ship never made it to the moon. The astronauts were able to return to earth safely without contact with mission control. The book records all the Apollo missions all the way to the last liftoff, Apollo 17. It shows the great development of the technology throughout the space race.
The main focus of the book is on whatever Kranz was a part of. So there is not much said about what the actual astronauts did in space. It covers just about every detail of the missions from what Kranz experienced, and for some of the small missions it can get a bit boring. But for the Apollo missions the detail are very well described and interesting. The Missions don’t start until about a third of the way into the book and start is mostly how mission control was developed. Over all the book is very informing and very slow.