Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon
by Suzanne Slade ill Thomas Gonzales
President John F. Kennedy, May 25, 1961
Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon chronicles events leading up to and concluding with the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969. The narrative begins with the challenge uttered by President John F. Kennedy in May 1961.
I believe that this nation should commit itself
Suzanne Slade, a mechanical engineer who worked on several space projects including the development of Saturn V rocket, is well qualified to write this superlative work of nonfiction. Her lyrical text vivify the marvel of space exploration. The free verse is accompanied by direct quotations, systematically describing each of the eleven Apollo missions.
Then he spots something surprising
A brilliant blue ball,
wrapped in wispy white cotton,
rising above the stark horizon.
Earthrise on Christmas Eve, 1968.
The computer flashes a warning.
"It's a 1202," Armstrong informs Mission Control.
He's never seen this alarm in a simulator.
"What is it?" he asks Aldrin.
He gets no response.
Fear slithers in.
Will they crash?
Will they have to abort?
Will they be able to return home?
Seconds feel like hours,
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400,000 men and women-
never gave up.
They made the dream