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The Best Books About the Apollo Program and Landing on the Moon

From astronaut autobiographies to definitive accounts from leading historians, these are the must reads about the landmark mission

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin works at the deployed Passive Seismic Experiment Package on July 20, 1969. To the left of the United States flag in the background is the lunar surface television camera. (NASA / Neil Armstrong)
smithsonian.com

The United States space program before and during Apollo, including the first time humankind landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, during Apollo 11, is one of the most written about subjects in history. Much ink has been spilt over the most thrilling moments of the lunar flights, the quality and character of the astronauts, the political forces that sent humanity to the moon, the technical details of spaceflight, and virtually every word and deed of anyone close to the Apollo program and the moon landings. But perhaps the most important and enjoyable Apollo stories are contained in books. Here are some of the best.

The success of the Apollo 8 mission hinged on a unique and terrifying maneuver: slowing the spacecraft enough to enter lunar orbit. Even the slightest mistake would have meant certain doom
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