Rocket to the Moon!: Big Ideas That Changed the World
by Don Brown
Big Ideas That Changed the World, a series created by Don Brown, "celebrates the hard-won succession of ideas that ultimately remade the world." Rocket to the Moon! is the first book in the BIG IDEAS series, exploring the development of rockets.
Rodman Law, a New Jersey daredevil parachutist in the early 1900's, is the character who narrates the chronology. He provides commentary and adds his own witty asides.
I bet I'm the first guy to try flying in a rocket. OK, OK, there's a sketchy story about a Turkish guy who did it in 1633, but come on, 1633? I'm not buying it, so I'm claiming the title.
Briefly mentioned are the Chinese invention of gunpowder, as well as fifteenth and sixteenth century experimentation with rockets. The narrative progresses with greater detail when detailing the research of twentieth-century Russian, American, and Romanian scientists and the work of American-German aerospace engineer Werner von Braun. His association with Hitler's Germany is mentioned.
They lightened Eagle by discarding an impressive pile of junk: boots, a camera, canisters, scoops, a shovel, space suit parts, and an empty storage container. They left a bag of barf, too, so watch your step if you're ever on the Sea of Tranquility.