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Lunar Landing and Return: A Simplified Physics & Mathematics Investigation-The Apollo II Saga by Donald C. Lundy (2001-07-01)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Lunar Landing and Return: A Simplified Physics & Mathematics Investigation-The Apollo II Saga by Donald C. Lundy (2001-07-01).pdf | Language: Unknown
    Donald C. Lundy(Author)

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  • Donald C. Lundy(Author)
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Review Text

  • By Robert I. Hedges on January 28, 2004

    I ordered this book as I have a long time interest in space exploration, particularly the Apollo program. I also have a science background, and thought this would be an interesting blend of the two. The book really isn't what I expected, but has some strong points.Generally speaking, this is a physics textbook designed for the advanced high school level (the author was for years a teacher in the San Bernardino Secondary School District.) The book is divided into sections to enable the reader to make non calculus calculations of relevant equations for a generalized translunar flight. The math is relatively easy to follow, but I would complain that on many pages the equations get rather jumbled and require re-reading to get your bearings. There are also 'self test' sections at the end of each area to check your learning (answers in the back are provided.) The book begins with an overview of basic astronomy and physics, including a relevant math review (up through and including trigonometry), and concludes with a section on the Apollo 11 mission profile including generalized calculations and considerations. The physics sections are obviously very clear to the author, and are generally well written.The downside here is the Apollo specific information, some of which is just plain incorrect. It appears that even though the author claims to be a huge admirer of the Apollo program and the astronauts, he just seems to have vaguely glanced at the introduction to a book on space flight, never bothering to become genuinely knowledgeable on the subject. On several occasions he states that Apollo 14 was the last Apollo mission, which, of course fails to account for the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 missions. I honestly can't understand this most basic of errors, nor can I understand the errors in terminology and crew names (not to mention the famous "One small step for man" quote, which is botched here) that prevail throughout the book. He claims to have written this book after his retirement, but certain dates in this book make me wonder when it was actually written. He references the Challenger disaster and Mir, but other features make me suspect that this book was largely written some time ago, particularly the lack of knowledge of missions after Apollo 14, the computer section, and the quality of the illustrations. The illustrations must be singled out for a bit of critique. They obviously were done freehand, most likely by the author, and are very poor in quality. Commercially available clipart and inexpensive drawing programs render these obsolete, which makes me believe they were done prior to the modern PC. Further, there is an entire section on computers and the chosen language he wrote his programs in is BASIC, which makes me think that this must be fairly old. At best the computer information is useless.To sum up, if you want a physics book about basic space flight, this is an OK choice; if you want a book about anything specifically related to Apollo you will be disappointed. I heartily recommend this book to one group without reservation, though: high school physics teachers. This is a book that will challenge and interest high school age students. The math is not entirely basic, but requires no calculus, and the format would be perfect for a one quarter long unit on space, introduced, of course by a decent documentary on the space race, like the NOVA DVD available here on Amazon.


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