Countdown to a Moon Launch

Preparing Apollo for Its Historic Journey

  • Jonathan H. Ward

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Also part of the Space Exploration book sub series (SPACEE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Jonathan H. Ward
    Pages 1-5
  3. Jonathan H. Ward
    Pages 7-28
  4. Jonathan H. Ward
    Pages 29-65
  5. Jonathan H. Ward
    Pages 67-123
  6. Jonathan H. Ward
    Pages 125-171
  7. Jonathan H. Ward
    Pages 173-226
  8. Jonathan H. Ward
    Pages 227-263
  9. Jonathan H. Ward
    Pages 265-288
  10. Jonathan H. Ward
    Pages 289-343
  11. Jonathan H. Ward
    Pages 345-368
  12. Jonathan H. Ward
    Pages 369-374
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 375-435

About this book


Thousands of workers labored at Kennedy Space Center around the clock, seven days a week, for half a year to prepare a mission for the liftoff of Apollo 11. This is the story of what went on during those hectic six months.

Countdown to a Moon Launch provides an in-depth look at the carefully choreographed workflow for an Apollo mission at KSC. Using the Apollo 11 mission as an example, readers will learn what went on day by day to transform partially completed stages and crates of parts into a ready-to-fly Saturn V. Firsthand accounts of launch pad accidents, near misses, suspected sabotage, and last-minute changes to hardware are told by more than 70 NASA employees and its contractors. A companion to Rocket Ranch, it includes many diagrams and photographs, some never before published, to illustrate all aspects of the process. NASA’s groundbreaking use of computers for testing and advanced management techniques are also covered in detail.

This book will demystify the question of how NASA could build and launch Apollo missions using 1960s technology. You’ll discover that there was no magic involved – just an abundance of discipline, willpower, and creativity.


Apollo Background Apollo/Saturn Launch Background Kennedy Space Center Launch Process Mission Launch Process NASA Launch Countdown NASA Launch Pad Testing NASA Test Methodologies NASA in 1960s and 1970s Saturn V Launch Checklist

Authors and affiliations

  • Jonathan H. Ward
    • 1
  1. 1.GreensboroUSA

Bibliographic information

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