Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Apollo: Through the Eyes of the Astronauts

"Apollo: Through the Eyes of the Astronauts" is a new book produced by NASA and Abrams that provides a unique perspective of the historic program that took people to the moon nearly four decades ago. The publication chronicles Apollo missions 7 through 17 using photographs of the flights selected by each of the surviving Apollo astronauts.

Between 1967 and 1972, 29 astronauts left Earth to explore the nearest celestial body, our moon. To celebrate that achievement, NASA and Abrams will publish "Apollo" in June, in advance of the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11's first lunar landing on July 20, 1969.

"Most Americans remember the Apollo astronauts as brave test pilots, engineers and scientists. However, one could argue that many of these explorers also were talented artists," said Bob Jacobs, acting assistant administrator for Public Affairs at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "They documented history while working in a very dangerous and hostile environment, and many of their images rival the beauty and historic significance of any picture captured by professional photographers."

"Apollo" features a foreword by Stephen Hawking, bestselling author of "A Brief History of Time" and the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, England, and his daughter Lucy Hawking, a journalist and novelist.

"Abrams is thrilled to collaborate with NASA on this book chronicling the Apollo lunar missions," said Eric Himmel, vice president and editor in chief of Abrams in New York. "It's especially rewarding to have the participation of the surviving Apollo astronauts, who, in addition to their other achievements, took some of the most extraordinary and influential photographs of our time."

The book uses vivid photographs and detailed text to create a visually compelling and authoritatively written record of a landmark achievement in human history.

"It will be interesting to see the different perspectives of my Apollo crewmates," said Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean. His photograph of fellow astronaut and mission commander Charles "Pete" Conrad on the Ocean of Storms makes up the cover of the new publication. "We all shared a special experience, but how each individual reflects on that experience is, of course, different."

Jacobs edited the book in collaboration with colleagues at NASA Headquarters in Washington: Michael Cabbage, director of News Services; Constance Moore, head photo researcher; and Bertram Ulrich, curator and multimedia manager.

"We wanted to publish the best of the best of the Apollo photographs and give the astronauts an opportunity to share with us their memories and experiences of this historic achievement in exploration," Jacobs added. "We deeply appreciate their cooperation and dedication."

"Apollo: Through the Eyes of the Astronauts" will be available in retail and online bookstores by early June.

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