“What if there had been social media during the first mission to land a man on the Moon in 1969?” With these words, author Philip Gibson introduces #Houston 69: Apollo 11 – When Man Walked on the Moon, an account of the Apollo Moon landing told via social media postings, primarily tweets.
Gibson, a UK author who was 19 when American astronauts first set foot on the lunar surface, is an accomplished historical writer who makes historical events come alive in a most unique way. His ‘created’ social media posts put us into the minds of the principals to these events in a way that mainstream history books, and even most historical fiction, simply cannot do. From the straight-forward comments by noted newsman Walter Cronkite to the poetic waxings of Eric Severaid, he sets up the pre-launch period, a time when the success of the mission was only a dream. Postings from launch control, the White House, media, and most importantly, the astronauts themselves, show the tension of events, large and small as Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 11 set off on a mission that could have very well been one-way.
From pre-launch until splashdown, you’ll be on the edge of your seat as postings describe events – mundane and momentous – of one of mankind’s most historic undertakings. In the process, thanks to the brief bio information that Gibson provides, you’ll learn things about the history of the period that I can assure you, you never knew before.
Five stars to Gibson for another ‘out of the park’ home run!