Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith
As you all know by now, I'm a big honkin' space race nerd.
I'm fascinated by the race of the 1960s, by the astronauts who flew, by NASA and all the problems and technology and time crunches they had to overcome to get us to the moon.
This book fell squarely into my radar path, naturally. ;-)
Smith catches up with the remaining astronauts who actually walked on the moon and then returned to Earth, and then had to live again - carve out lives, careers after NASA, relationships and more.
Some are reticent to talk (Neil Armstrong is famously quiet on the moon missions), some are eager to spread their word (Ed Mitchell founded a religion upon his return), some are still just thrilled to have been there and paint scenes of the moon every day (Alan Bean), and some are still conflicted about the whole mission (Buzz Aldrin). These complex, brilliant, rock star men are surprisingly normal, and have had the same struggles many do to come to grips with LIFE.
The book is intercut with Smith's own childhood, and his perception of the Apollo mission, which at first was jarring from the story, but which eventually grew on me. I really enjoyed this new "inside" look into the lives, brains and spirituality of these Moonmen.
A great read!
Scribbled by Marissa