Podcast by The Art of Manliness
When you think of the Apollo Mission, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepping foot on the moon. But even Armstrong didn’t think his moon landing was the most important or daring of all the Apollo missions. For Armstrong, Apollo 8 best fit that description.
If you’re like most people, you probably know very little about Apollo 8, let alone the names of the three astronauts who flew on that mission. But that will definitely change after this episode. In fact, you'll likely never forget their stories.
My guest on the show today is Robert Kurson who's out with a new book called Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon. We begin our conversation discussing the state of America’s space program before John F. Kennedy made his famous “moonshot” speech in 1961 and why the Soviets kept beating America in the space race. We then discuss the audacious and near impossible plan made in a few hours in August 1968 to put men into orbit around the moon by Christmas of that year.
Robert then tells us about the lives of the three men who would be the first humans to leave earth’s orbit and the first to orbit the moon, and why they were the perfect astronauts for this mission. We also discuss the role the wives of these astronauts played and why out of all the married astronauts who took part in the Apollo missions, the astronauts of Apollo 8 were the only ones to never get divorced.
We end our conversation discussing the climactic speech the astronauts made on Christmas Eve from the moon and the life lessons Robert learned from writing about and talking with the men of Apollo 8.
Get the show notes at aom.is/rocketmen.