Rocket Ranch: The Nuts and Bolts of the Apollo Moon Program at Kennedy Space Center by Jonathan H. WardRocket Ranch: The Nuts and Bolts of the Apollo Moon Program at Kennedy Space Center by Jonathan H. Ward

Rocket Ranch: The Nuts and Bolts of the Apollo Moon Program at Kennedy Space Center

byJonathan H. Ward

Paperback | July 13, 2015

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Jonathan Ward takes the reader deep into the facilities at Kennedy Space Center to describe NASA's first computer systems used for spacecraft and rocket checkout and explain how tests and launches proceeded. Descriptions of early operations include a harrowing account of the heroic efforts of pad workers during theApollo 1fire. A companion to the author's bookCountdown to a Moon Launch:Preparing Apollo for Its Historic Journey, this explores every facet of the facilities that served as the base for the Apollo/Saturn missions. Hundreds of illustrations complement the firsthand accounts of more than 70 Apollo program managers and engineers.

The era of the Apollo/Saturn missions was perhaps the most exciting period in American space exploration history. Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center were buzzing with activity. Thousands of workers came to town to build the facilities and launch the missions needed to put an American on the Moon before the end of the decade.

Work at KSC involved much more than just launching rockets. It was a place like none other on Earth. Technicians performed intricate operations, and hazards abounded everywhere, including lightning, fire, highly-toxic fuels, snakes, heat, explosives, LOX spills, and even plutonium. The reward for months of 7-day workweeks under intense pressure was witnessing a Saturn V at liftoff.

For anyone who ever wished they had worked at Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo era, this book is the next best thing. The only thing missing is the smell of rocket fuel in the morning.

American author Jonathan Ward spent several years of his childhood in Japan, but he considers the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D. C. to be his hometown. Although he has a wide variety of interests and has worked in many fields, space exploration is his lifelong passion. His joy of bringing the space program to life for the general p...
Title:Rocket Ranch: The Nuts and Bolts of the Apollo Moon Program at Kennedy Space CenterFormat:PaperbackDimensions:331 pagesPublished:July 13, 2015Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3319177885

ISBN - 13:9783319177885

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Table of Contents

Introduction.- Setting the Stage for Apollo/Saturn 1960-1966.- The Apollo 1 Fire.- The Spacecraft Assembly and Checkout Facilities.- The VAB and the Mobile Launcher.- The Launch Control Center and Firing Rooms.- Launch Pads 39A and 39B.- Life at the Launch Pad.- Epilogue: The End of an Era.

Editorial Reviews

"Ward . makes the inner workings of the Apollo and Saturn space missions very understandable. . He does a fantastic job of showing the behind-the-scenes work that allowed the Apollo and Saturn space missions to take place. All readers interested in the history of space exploration will enjoy this work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels." (C. Charnaswskas-Jasionowicz, Choice, Vol. 53 (9), May, 2016)"Rocket Ranch is an enjoyable overview of the Kennedy Space Center during the 1960s and a once-over-lightly account of the Moon landing program. . Contained here is the best account I have seen of the computing efforts at KSC and the operational aspects of the Apollo program. There is also a lengthy chapter on the Apollo 1 fire that many will find of interest. Ward relies on more than seventy interviews that he personally conducted . ." (Roger Launius's Blog,, March, 2016)"Rocket Ranch is the most recent attempt by memorabilia collectors to provide a technical description of Kennedy Space Center. Space Center enthusiasts and technophiles will love the detailed descriptions and the stories drawn from Ward's interviews with employees, contractors, and associates of Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo era. . Kennedy Space Center technophiles will love Ward's Rocket Ranch for providing them a more detailed and largely accurate description of Apollo-era technology infrastructure in a well-organized tour guide format." (Orville Butler, Quest, Vol. 23 (2), 2016)