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Book Reviews


One Giant Leap: Apollo 11 Forty Years On
Author: Piers Bizony

Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-84513-422-8

Price: ?16.99 (Hb), 160pp


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It must be difficult to write a book about the Apollo 11 mission. I'm sure that there is a book that covers every minute detail and
I seem to have read quite a few of them, so when I received this book I was not convinced that I would find anything new.

In this book the author avoids a detailed history or
explanations of technology found readily elsewhere, and according to the dust jacket, attempts to persuade modern readers to think about Apollo in an entirely new way. I glanced
through this book at first and I was not impressed. Hasn't it all been said before?

But after sitting down to read a little more closely I found that the author does have something interesting to say about our perspective on the mission and its cultural, technological and political impact today. I especially enjoyed the author's views on whether today's technology has really improved that much or indeed at all, and some of the modern day comparisons made.

A real strength of this book is that it has sought to illustrate the lesser-known or unseen photographs of the Apollo 11 mission. Some of the photographs are blurry, incorrectly exposed or poorly composed and the author states that these have often been considered failures and have been set aside. Yet speaking as an amateur photographer myself, I have to agree that these pictures give us a new insight and we gain a vivid impression of what it was like to live and work inside the spacecraft. But I do wish that there were more of them.

Throughout there are recent quotations from Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin that adds to today's perspective and provides some useful insight into the men themselves. The author also examines the newly proposed Moon missions and the political notions of today, something that will certainly provide us with more to think about. Do not dismiss this book as I initially did. Take the time to read it as it does have something useful to say after all.

Robin Flegg

2009 Yearbook
This 132-page special edition features the ultimate observing guide for 2009, a review of all the biggest news stories of 2008, in depth articles covering all aspects of astronomy and space missions for 2009, previews of International Year of Astronomy events and much, much more.
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Infinity Rising
This special publication features the photography of British astro-imager Nik Szymanek and covers a range of photographic methods from basic to advanced. Beautiful pictures of the night sky can be obtained with a simple camera and tripod before tackling more difficult projects, such as guided astrophotography through the telescope and CCD imaging.
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Exploring Mars
Astronomy Now is pleased to announce the publication of Exploring Mars. The very best images of Mars taken by orbiting spacecraft and NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers fill up the 98 glossy pages of this special edition!
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Mars rover poster
This new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA's amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
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